While Chandigarh residents found most officials of the UT administration and the municipal corporation (MC) elusive on the second day of the 21-day nationwide lockdown, UT adviser Manoj Kumar Parida was only a tweet away on Thursday.
Throughout the day, Parida was constantly exchanging ideas with the twitterati, responding to people’s criticism of the administration’s failure in delivering essential items to houses, retweeting people appreciating the administration, responding to calls for help and even trolling.
At 7.09pm, Parida tweeted: “Aware of vegetable venders fleecing consumers today…will try.regulated prices from tomorrow..(sic)”
A city resident replied to it, tagging MP Kirron Kher: “Why curfew in city. Today shopkeepers r looting by over charging who in Admin watching this loot no relaxation for purchase of grocery. In sec 49 vegetable venders looting by double price. any authority in Chd who is checking? (sic)”
To this, Parida immediately responded: “During curfew relaxation u will go to same shop who will charge u same astronomical rates..Then? (sic)”.
Bid to win brownie points?
In another tweet, he declared, “Hi Chandigarh ..Trying to send NAFED and HAFED mobile vans to sell vegetables and rations in sectors and colonies in reasonable rates…howzzthat. (sic)”
After facing flak for Wednesday’s poor handling of the situation, Parida’s twitter enthusiasm seemed like the administration trying hard to put a positive spin on the situation. At one point, Parida even asked, “Hi Chandigarh,any improvement in service?..Bad news can be given in polite words too..(sic)”
Kher tweets on absence from city
Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, who has come under severe criticism for being absent from the city in such trying times, on Thursday responded to critics on social media.
Kher tweeted a post saying it was not the time to criticise or look for publicity: “I am shocked to see that instead of keeping a holistic approach to life, people are using this calamity to point fingers at me saying I am not visible. Is this a time to be seen?!”
She said being Chandigarh’s representative in the Parliament, she had to travel back and forth on parliamentary duties. “Ever since the lockdown, I have made myself present and have constantly kept myself available to the administration and heads of departments to brief me about the situation on the roads and in hospitals,” the post said.
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