Dhaka city corporations active to tackle COVID-19

Two city corporations in Dhaka have continued distributing food items to the distressed people and spraying disinfectants on the city roads to thwart coronavirus (COVID-19), now a pandemic.

Besides, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) on Wednesday launched two hotline numbers in order to deliver food items among the lower income group. 

Officials of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) and DSCC said that they distributed food among the poor, sprayed disinfectants and conducted mobile courts to control prices of essentials.

The lower income people were passing hard time as their earning virtually stopped since March 26 when the government imposed ban on movement of public transport and announced holiday to maintain social distance to check spreading coronavirus that so far killed six and infected 61 in Bangladesh till Friday.

Considering the entire situation, DSCC and DNCC have continuedtheir activities at their territories separately. As part of the programme, with a view to distributing food items among the destitute people, DSCC on Thursday handed over 5000 food packets to its 10 ward councilors, 500 packets for each ward.  

DCCC has also launched a hotline for those people who are not interested to include their name in desti tute list or unable to take food items by standing in line. DSCC has asked to contact the citizen with city corporation officials through calling the mobile numbers 01709900703 or 01709900704. Food items will be delivered to the callers’ house after getting information about them, DSCC officials concerned said.

Abu TayabRokon, a hotline cell operator and DSCC system analyst, told Bangladesh Post on Thursday, “The service has been launched as per the direction of Mayor. We have already delivered food items to 369 people in this way.”

Dhaka south city mayor Mohammad Sayeed Khokon said that he targeted to provide food supports to 50,000 poor people.

Asked about the matter, DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon said, “We have taken initiative of distributing food among the distressed people from humanitarian ground. As part of this, we are providing assistance to the poor people through local councilors and regional officials in each ward.”

About hotline, he said, “We are making a list of destitute people. They would get food everyday. Beside, many feel ashamed of seeking free food. The initiative of distributing free food is to make sure such people are not excluded from such necessitating benefit.”

However, citizens said that City Corporations activity are not enough for the survival of the people who live on hand to mouth as they are only engage in uncoordinated action.

“The city corporation’s aid is very little. I have come here after hearing that city corporation is giving us relief. But they have left the place after distributing only some packets of food,” said a rickshaw puller, who came to DSCC Nagar Bhaban area for relief on Monday.

Over hundred destitute people were found to back home with empty hand after waiting for relief in front of Nagar Bhaban where mayor Sayeed Khokon was scheduled to distribute relief on Monday. On the other Hand, DNCC has continued its relief distributing work which was started on March 29. 

Dhaka north city’s re-elected mayor Atiqul Islam said, “I have asked general councilors to pick 150 poor people and women councillorsto pick 100 poor people of their areas to bring them under regular food coverage.”

The mayor is seen every day distributing food among the poor at different areas despite allegations of irregularities and mismanagement. Both the mayors, however, said that they were trying to reach everyone despite their limitations. They also urged the rich to come forward in helping the poor.

On March 28, the DNCC inaugurated spraying of anti-infection chemicals inside the public buses from its two bus terminals at Gabtoli and Mohakhali. To ensure the home quarantine of suspected coronavirus cases, the city corporations also formed a five-member ward level committee in each ward headed by the ward councillor.

The committee will also ensure that no public gathering takes place in their ward and hand washing facilities are set up at public spots.

However, the hand washing facilities installed at different points were found useless and different of some hand washing basins at different areas were stolen due to the negligence of their protectors. This correspondent found different parts of basins were missing two days after the installation at MugdaHospial area.