Ration, medicine just a call away: Srinagar admin sets up 24X7 COVID call center to help people in lockdown

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SRINAGAR:  Adaab! Srinagar emergency helpline main aap ka swagat hai. Mai aap ki kaya madad kar sakta hoon? A teller asks politely whenever a phone rings.

Welcome to Srinagar’s first 24×7 COVID call center. This is the first of its kind helpline where people can call anytime for any assistance.

From ration to the ambulance and from medicines to utility services, the call center receives around 1800 calls daily for help. 

“We get 1500 to 1800 calls from citizens every day. We try to understand their problems and accordingly try to solve them. Each call is taken seriously,” said Zahoor Ramzan Mir, manager of the COVID call center.

Srinagar district administration has devised a mechanism wherein grievances are redressed in six hours. “We record the phone number, address, and other details of the caller. A ticket is generated which goes to a nodal officer in the field. The officer contacts the person and resolves the problem,” said Mir.

Most of the calls relate to ration, ambulance, medicine, and other utilities. “We have 16 agents who work round the clock and record the grievances,” he said.

Not only is the helpline at the beck and call of the citizens, but the administration has also embarked on a journey to provide ration at the doorstep of the people in Srinagar. 

“We have completed 100 percent home delivery of ration. LPG home delivery is going on regularly,” said Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, district development commissioner, Srinagar.

Jammu and Kashmir government has also decided to distribute five kilograms of ration free per person. “The government has recently allowed 5 kg free ration per person. We have started giving free rations. Around 52000 families have been covered in four days. Till April 28, we hope to cover all the households. Some people do not have ration cards. We have set up a 24×7 call center on which people can call and post their grievances,” he said.

The government has converted Government Women College MARoad into a makeshift packaging and distribution center for free rations. Every day dozens of masked workers wearing green PPE pack five kilograms of ration in small bags for free distribution. The ration includes rice, aata, cooking oil, tea leaves, and spices.  “The five-kilogram free ration will be distributed among the people for the next four months,” he said.

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