Bangladesh Municipality Initiates Free Delivery of Groceries in Eco-Friendly Vehicles during Lockdown

ollowing the imposition of a national lockdown in Bangladesh on March 24, to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Singra municipality has taken several initiatives for the people’s benefit. Leaflets are being used to spread awareness on the importance of staying at home, washing hands frequently and wearing masks. The municipality is also using the e-rickshaws launched under the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) to deliver groceries and other essential items to the people. Hon’ble Mayor of Singra Md. Zannatul Ferdous spoke to ICLEI South Asia about the various initiatives being implemented in the municipality during the lockdown.

What are the measures being taken in your municipality to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic?
We understand that staying at home and avoiding public gatherings are the best ways of protecting oneself and curbing the spread of the coronavirus. We are following all the guidelines provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health under the government of Bangladesh. In our municipality, we have requested the residents to stay at home until further notice. We are raising public awareness through leaflets and public address systems. The municipal staff is not working at the moment. However, there is a designated team working during this crisis, and its members are staying at the municipal guest house, away from their families.

We had recently launched some e-rickshaws as public transport in our municipality; they were operating under the TUMI project. We are now using these vehicles to deliver groceries to low and middle-income families so that they can stay safe at home.

Tell us more about the TUMI vehicle initiative and how it is helping the people under lockdown.
When the pandemic broke out in our country, I and Member of Parliament and State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak came up with the idea of using our TUMI project vehicles to deliver daily consumables to the people. We thought it could be a great support and the best option if we wanted the people to stay at home. Additionally, if we do not operate these vehicles during the lockdown, it will reduce the efficiency of their batteries.

Under the initiative, we have launched two helpline numbers – +88 01707001122 and +88 01851002222 – that will accept delivery requests from 8 am to 5 pm every day. Citizens can order essentials during these hours and our delivery service is free of cost.

One of the numbers is specially designated for those who are dependent on daily wages and cannot afford to purchase these items during the lockdown. I personally receive these calls and try to deliver the products by evening as a relief measure. This is my personal contribution, along with Mr. Palak’s help.

How many vehicles are being used?
All 12 vehicles are being used for this service: 10 e-rickshaws for product delivery and two e-ambulances for transporting patients and doctors in case of emergency.

What are the products being distributed by the e-rickshaws?
Daily consumables including vegetables, dried food, fish and meat, besides beverages and medicines are delivered. We have asked three shops in our municipal market to supply these products.

What is the public reaction to the service? Do they want more products to be distributed likewise?
The people have reacted positively to the service. They have started ordering everything as per their daily needs. We received calls from the capital city Dhaka and Rangpur district also, but unfortunately, we could not deliver there.

How has the crisis impacted Singra municipality in terms of work and productivity?
We have not been able to measure the loss in productivity yet, as we are trying to provide emergency support now. But the people who are dependent on daily wages are in big trouble. We are trying to identify and help them.

Are you planning more initiatives, keeping issues such as sustainability and the environment in mind?
Though not linked to any environment or sustainability issue, we are planning to continue this product delivery support even after the crisis ends. However, we will start charging for delivery to add to the municipal revenue.

Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 7
53113 Bonn
T: +49-228/97 62 99-00
F.+49-228/97 62 99-01 Email:
European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg, Germany
Brussels Office
Av. de Tervuren 35
1040 Bruxelles
Berlin Office
St. Oberholz ROS Team Room 4.02 Rosenthaler Str. 72a 10119 Berlin, Germany
Physical address:
3 Knowledge Park
Century City
Cape Town
South Africa
Postal address:
PO Box 5319
South Africa
Canada Office
401 Richmond St. W
Studio 204
Toronto, Ontario
M5V 3A8, Canada
USA Office
536 Wynkoop St.
Suite 901
Denver, Colorado
USA 80202
Mexico, Central American and Caribbean Secretariat
Eje Central Lazaro Cardenas 13 Building Miguel Abed, Floor 5 Office 506 and 507, Col. Centro, CP 06050 Del. Cuauhtemoc, Mexico City, Mexico
Colombia Office
Área Metropolitana del Valle de Aburrá Carrera 53 N° 40A - 31 Medellín, Antioquia – Colombia
ICLEI Argentina
Boulevard Gálvez, 1150 Planta Alta. Santa Fe, Argentina
South America Secretariat Brazil Project Office
Rua Ibiraçu, 226, Vila Madalena
São Paulo / SP - Brazil
CEP 05451-040
South Asia Secretariat
Ground Floor, NSIC-STP Complex NSIC Bhawan, Okhla Industrial Estate New Delhi – 110020, India
East Asia Secretariat
14/F, Seoul Global Center Building, 38 Jongno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (110-110)
Southeast Asia Secretariat
c/o The Manila Observatory Ateneo de Manila University Campus Loyola Heights, Quezon City 1101 Manila, Philippines
ICLEI Indonesia Project Office
Rasuna Office Park III WO. 06-09 Komplek Rasuna Epicentrum Jl. Taman Rasuna Selatan, Kuningan DKI Jakarta, 12960, Indonesia
Oceania Secretariat
Level 1, 200 Little Collins Street Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
Associate Partnership
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
ICLEI membership application
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
Want to be a model?
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form
ICLEI membership online application form