From biryani, samosas to gutka: Odd demands officials get amid COVID-19 lockdown

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In the midst of the coronavirus lockdown in the country, many are striving for food to eat. But in several cities, there are people who are demanding biryani, somasas etc. from officials.

Recently, many cases were reported, where officials received odd calls from residents who are in containment zones.

In Delhi, district officials deployed in coronavirus containment zones and quarantine centres say a number of residents have flooded them with odd demands, like chicken biryani, mutton, pizza, sweets and hot samosas, keeping them on their toes during the lockdown.

In a containment zone, people are not allowed to step out of their houses and government ensures delivery of essential items at their doorstep.

Once an area is declared a containment zone, administration and police officials create a WhatsApp group where people place requests for essential items and authorities ensure their delivery at the doorstep.

An official deployed at the government-run quarantine facility in outer Delhi’s Narela told news agency PTI that several residents there have asked officials to provide them chicken biryani and mutton.

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In South Delhi, some people demanded pizza and hot samosa, another official said. That’s not all, the officials said in some containment zones in East, Central and Central Delhi, there received demands for sweets.

“We don’t fulfil frivolous demands. At a time when an area is sealed and declared containment zone in such a crisis, our duty is to ensure delivery of only essential items like vegetables, water and milk. We have told our field officials to ignore unusual demands,” a senior official said.

Lucknow

In Lucknow, the police got a strange call when an elderly person made an “urgent request” for rasogullas.

The cop who answered the phone thought it was a prank. But when a volunteer-delivered the sweets in Lucknow’s Hazratganj, it was found that the man in his 80s really needed them. He is diabetic and his blood sugar level had dipped sharply.

But reports suggest that those answering the police helpline 112 have been baffled by requests for betel leaf, gutka and hot samosas (with chutney).

There have also been reports of house-bound children pleading with the invisible “police uncle” at the other end for chips, cakes, ice cream and pizza.

Rampur

In UP’s Rampur,  the Rampur administration has been receiving several odd calls. The latest was a man demanding hot samosas delivered at his doorstep.

Irritated with the repeated calls by this errant resident, the Rampur District Magistrate decided to deliver him the snack but made the man clean drains in the area as a punishment.

Kerala

Apart from this, there are some legit demands by the people, a man in Kerela filed a writ petition in the High Court after he was denied a vehicle pass to purchase feed for his three pet cats.

In his petition, Prakash said his cats only consumed a certain brand of biscuits called ‘Meo-Persian’, which had a non-vegetarian component. Since he was vegetarian, he had to buy the special cat food from the Cochin Pet Hospital.

Eventually, the court ruled in favour of the three felines and ordered that the pass be given to him.

Karnataka

Besides this, Soumya Singh, a medical student from Karnataka’s Mangaluru, was faced with an acute food crisis amid the lockdown and decided to tweet out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, asking for Maggi and eggs.

Her tweet caught the eye of Rakesh Singh, Additional Chief Secretary of the Karnataka Urban Development Department, who informed the COVID-19 war room in Dakshina Kannada district. The food supplies landed at Singh’s doorstep in less than 30 minutes — for free.

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