Indian online supermarkets BigBasket and Grofers resumed services in some parts of the country on Wednesday after their activities were interrupted due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed in light of the coronavirus pandemic. E-commerce company Flipkart also resumed services of essential products, Reuters reported.
Bengaluru-based Flipkart had stopped all its services on Wednesday morning, as reports came in of law and order authorities stopping deliveries of goods by e-commerce and online retail firms. “We are resuming our grocery and essentials services later today,” Flipkart Chief Executive Officer Kalyan Krishnamurthy said. He added that the decision was taken after law enforcement authorities assured Flipkart of safe passage for its supplies and delivery workers.
BigBasket said in a tweet that it has resumed its operations in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Indore, Mumbai, Mysuru, Noida, Surat and Vadodara. In Ghaziabad, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Nagpur, Lucknow, Patna and Vijayawada, the supermarket said it is hoping to resume services in a couple of days.
However, the company said it was not sure when it would be able to resume operations in Chennai, Chandigarh, Delhi, Ludhiana, Pune and Visakhapatnam, due to “severe restrictions” imposed on its staff and movement of vehicles. The firm also said it was not delivering in Kochi because of operational constraints.
Grofers said it was taking orders in Delhi again. “Our operations were temporarily interrupted, but with help of local authorities, we’re accepting and delivering orders again,” the online supermarket tweeted. “Kindly expect a longer delivery time as we serve older orders first. Thanks for your patience and support.”
Delhi Police talk to e-commerce firms
The Delhi Police said they were proactively engaging with e-commerce websites and issuing passes to ensure their agents were able to deliver essential goods and services to people, PTI reported.
Senior police officials, including New Delhi District Deputy Commissioner of Police Eish Singhal and Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police Deepak Yadav held a meeting with the representatives of e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Zomato, Snapdeal and Big Basket on Wednesday.
“We have set up a platform for e-commerce websites where they can share with us difficulties faced by them, so we can solve them,” Delhi Police Public Relations Officer Mandeep Singh Randhawa said. He added that curfew passes were being issued to agents of e-commerce services.
“We have heard about the misconduct of police during checking,” Delhi Commissioner of Police SN Shrivastava said. “There would be no hustle during checking of essential services staff such as doctors and home delivery agents.”
The Gurugram Police tweeted that all their officers have been directed to allow delivery services of Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, Blue Dart, Wow Express, Swiggy, Grofers, Big Basket, Milk Basket, Dunzo, Big Bazaar and IFFCO to operate.
At least 606 Covid-19 infections have been diagnosed in India so far, of which 10 people have died, according to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.