Bhubaneswar, March 26: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) to ensure strict adherence of social distancing at essential commodity stores and daily markets and haats in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and containment of its spread in community level.
Issuing the SOP Municipal Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary has asked Additional Commissioner (Enforcement) Abanikanta Pattanaik and three zonal deputy commissioners (ZDCs) of BMC to ensure the social distancing factor.
The SOP has also asked to ensure permanent marking in circles/squares with a distancing of 2 metres in a straight line/as per the space available to ensure a queue line/sequence for which BMC has also issued draft sketches along with the SOP.
It has also asked the ZDCs to see that daily markets/haats will ensure that there would be a distance of 10 metres between two vendors/shopkeepers so that there will be ample space available for the customers to ensure social distancing.
With the SOP guidelines if all vendors/shopkeepers are not accommodated in the daily market/haat then the ZDCs in consultation with the market associations, can identify vending space along nearby road/vacant land in order to ensure social distancing among the buyers. The senior BMC officials will have to ensure enforcement and effectively maintain social distancing SOP among the public near the vending/buying facilities of essential commodities.
As a quick measure to implement the SOP on Unit-I Daily Market BMC today asked the vegetable vendors to use the roadside space along Rajmahal and AG Square so that social distancing could be implemented in letter and spirit. The vendors and public were seen following the SOP completely as they have become aware of the threat from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The market associations, however, will be responsible for cleaning of the temporary markets at least two days a week.
The SOP has also asked the ZDCs to visit the market places frequently in order to ensure adherence of all guidelines incorporated in order to maintain social distancing in order to continue the war against the COVID-19 pandemic.