Panchayat Raj in the Tech Hubs of Bengaluru

In Bengaluru, many of the tech hubs come under the jurisdiction of panchayats, which have decided that the grocery stores will open for only four hours in the morning. Even though in the tech hub areas, grocery shopping and essential are supposed to be available as usual, the outskirts scenario is very different as the Panchayat administrations have taken upon themselves to dictate the timing of the grocery shopping.

The SI of Sarjapura Police Station stated that the Sarjapura Panchayat members decided that the people living in their panchayat limit can do grocery shop in the morning from 6 am to 10 am; after that, the residents cannot step out unless there is an emergency. The medical and milk shops will remain open.

He also added that it was a panchayat decision and not Police ruling. The Panchayat came to them with this request as many of the villagers were roaming around as if all is normal; also, they have already given notices to the shop owners to follow the timing.

This dictate hasn’t been well received by the IT professional residing in such a panchayat limit. They have been saying that since they are in the IT sector and they have to work till late nights during the shift, they cannot wake up early in the morning. They have criticized this norm and have asked the area police to take the permission of the Police commissioner.

A similar dictate has been passed by the Hulimangala Panchayat and Thogaru Panchayat, where there are sizeable IT hubs.

The residents have called this as a random move and a decision taken in a hurry. They are stating that this move will kill the social distancing concept, and the store will not be able to cater to the public needs in just three to four hours.

The residents are asking the timing should be at least from 9 am to 6:30 pm and suggesting that Panchayat should arrange for a mobile grocery van similar to that of the vegetable. The mobile van will visit the homes so that people do not have to come out.

The residents think that the local authorities are taking the decision without enough data, which would lead to more crowding due to the limited time for shopping of the essential goods.