NEW DELHI: In the wake of the 21-day lockdown, the country’s critical supply chain has been severely affected leaving an uncertain future for the farmers, urban migrants and city dwellers.
According to an article published in the Financial Times, ever since the lockdown was imposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to check the spread of coronavirus in the country, the country’s farmers are uncertain if they should harvest crops as the rural markets are close and there is no way to transport their supplies to the urban markets.
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The lack of proper guidelines from the government has left the farmers confused.
For urban consumers, the lack of supplies has resulted in a rise in prices of essential commodities. The urban wholesale markets have reduced their incoming supplies. One vegetable trader in Delhi’s Azadpur market has reduced the number of trucks bringing supplies from the rural market from five to one.
The police have done little to help the ailing population. There strict crackdown on delivery services has forced several e-commerce companies to cancel or postpone their services in several areas of the country.
The lockdown has had a severe impact on the urban migrant workers. Thousands of migrant workers who have lost their jobs have been forced to walk for hundreds of kilometres as they tried to flee the city. Most of them do not have access to food and are at the risk of starvation.
The government has announced a plan to provide aid to the poor but they will first have to return home to access it, an IIM professor was quoted as saying in the article.
For a large number of urban informal workers who are out of work ,the challenge will be to get in-hand cash to buy food.
However, several experts argue that the lockdown was crucial to check the spread of coronavirus. They believe that by April 15 the country would have flattened the curve of spread up to a certain extent.