The response of Gurugram District Administration in handling the COVID-19 outbreak has been excellent, a majority of the citizens of the millennium city feel.
In an online poll conducted by SKOCH Group, citizens gave high approval to the district administration of Gurugram for handling the COVID-19 pandemic that has disrupted life and economy across the world. SKOCH Group had organised an online Webinar wherein Amit Khatri, DC, Gurugram, responded to subject matter experts, corporates, professionals as well as citizens selected across localities of Gurugram.
Of the total respondents, 62 per cent said that the response of the Gurugram district administration in handling the COVID-19 outbreak has been excellent, while 34 per cent feel that it has been good. Only 3 per cent of the respondents rated the handling of the Gurugram district administration as average and there was no vote for a poor response.
Continuity in supplies of essential items and services has helped Gurugram district administration gain high citizen ratings. There is an almost uninterrupted supply of electricity, water and other civic services. The supply of medicines and other essential items has also been adequate. 57 per cent of the respondents gave an excellent rating to the district administration for maintaining the continuity of supplies of medicines, essential items and services. 38 per cent gave good rating, while only 5 per cent said that the performance of the district administration in maintaining the supply of essential items and services have been average.
In the citizen’s eyes, Gurugram district administration seems to be well prepared to handle the COVID-19 situation in the coming weeks. 45 per cent respondents gave an excellent rating to the district administration’s preparedness, while 48 per cent rated it’s preparedness as good. Only 7 per cent gave an average rating to the district administration’s preparedness to handle the COVID-19 outbreak in the weeks to come.
Amit Khatri, Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram, said that the Gurugram district administration was well ahead of the curve in its response to the COVID-19 outbreak as it was preparing itself for any eventualities given the global scenario.
“We were not caught off guard. This problem was faced across the world. We were accordingly getting prepared,” Khatri said in a SKOCH Webinar titled ‘Gurugram Responds’. Different stakeholders including experts, school staff, medical professionals and industry leaders, participated in the webinar.
The response of the Gurugram district administration was 2-3 days ahead of the response of the state and the central government,” Khatri said referring to the district administration’s direction to companies to allow their employees to work from home. Gurugram district administration had started pressing for social distancing a couple of days before it was done at the state level in Haryana or nationally.
On a question of moratorium in payment of school fees, citizens looked divided. 31 per cent of the respondents agreed that there should be a moratorium in the payment of school fees, while 27 per cent found themselves ‘somewhat agreeing’. 39 per cent of the respondents disagreed with the idea of providing moratorium in the payment of school fees. One section of citizens feel that there should be a moratorium in payment of school fees as the incomes of most parents have been disrupted due to the lockdown. While a large number of people also feel that the moratorium in school fees would force schools to not to pay salaries to their teachers. This would create hardships for teachers and other school staffs.
Citizens, especially volunteers, have played a very important role in handling the COVID crisis in the district. Khatri called for more volunteer support saying that no government can handle the situation alone.
Khatri also said that while the situation in Gurugram was well under control, the district administration was simultaneously preparing to handle any spike in COVID-19 patients. The measures include ensuring adequate supplies of essential items and medical equipments such as masks, sanitisers, gowns, gloves, personal protective equipments (PPEs) as well as diagnostic kits for testing. The district administration is in the process to set up exclusive hospitals for treating COVID-19 patients. “We have identified some places. We are in the process to make COVID exclusive hospitals,” he said.
There was also a suggestion to review and resume supply of alcohol and cigarettes. All in all, Gurugram district administration seems well prepared to take on the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis and ensure continuity of supplies and safety for its citizens.