Gurgaon, Noida step in to get food, medicines delivered

Gurgaon, Noida step in to get food, medicines delivered

Gurgaon/Noida: The administrations of Gurgaon and Noida issued directives to police and online firms to ensure delivery of essential commodities such as groceries and medicines was not disrupted. The move followed complaints from residents that restrictions imposed by police during the lockdown had affected the delivery of essentials despite the Prime Minister’s assurance that those who stay at home need not worry about supplies.
Companies engaged in delivery of groceries — Bigbasket and Grofers — and cooked food from restaurants — Swiggy and Zomato — have alleged that their executives are being harassed on the road by police when they are out on duty. This has resulted in numerous cancellations of orders at a time most shops and eateries have downed shutters.
In Gurgaon, officials said they were exploring the option of issuing passes to vehicles that are involved in transporting vegetables, meat, fish and other such items of daily needs. A police control room has been set up to deal with complaints related to movement of vehicles through the borders. “The operation of companies and individuals involved with production, supply and distribution of essential items are exempt from the lockdown restrictions. We have issued written orders to all DCPs, SHOs, traffic police and other officers to allow doorstep delivery of grocery, milk and other such items,” police commissioner Mohammad Akil said.
Divisional commissioner Ashok Sangwan, the nodal officer for dealing with Covid-19 related issues, convened a meeting with traders and representatives of online firms on Wednesday to sort out the issue. “By Wednesday evening, we will have a system in place,” he said earlier in the day.
Haryana chief secretary Keshni Anand also reviewed the situation on the third day of the lockdown.
The Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities have also decided to issue passes for bikes and vehicles that are engaged in delivery of essentials in their areas. Companies such as Big Bazaar, Zomato, Grofers, Milkbasket and others would be handed passes. However, trucks supplying essentials would not need any pass to move in the city.
The Noida administration has also instructed shops selling medicines, groceries, milk, fruits and vegetables to stay open from 6am to 11pm every day. The Noida Authority has released a list of 85 such shops. Petrol pumps have also been instructed to operate in the same way.
“We wanted to ensure that all essentials are delivered smoothly to the doorstep without people having to flock to shops. That is why we are facilitating the passes in a decentralised manner. All three authorities have been asked to issue papers in their respective areas,” said BN Singh, the district magistrate. In neighbouring Delhi, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal also decided to hand out passes and urged people not to panic.
But ensuring smooth deliveries was easier said than done in Noida. Food delivery apps Swiggy and Zomato and grocery platforms Grofers and Bigbasket remained out of service even on Wednesday evening. Officials said deliveries were expected to resume by Thursday after the passes are issued.
Praveen Mishra, additional CEO in the Noida Authority, has been authorised to issue passes in the city. “We have got a list from most companies, including names, contact details and shifts in which they will work. The passes will be issued by Thursday. But the number of passes would be limited,” he added.
The vegetable mandi in Sector 88 will also ensure availability of all supplies to Grofers, Bigbasket and other such firms, officials said.
In Greater Noida, 27 societies came forward for the doorstep delivery service initiated by GNIDA.

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