In Karnataka, the police department announced that grocery shops and supermarkets can be open round-the-clock.

Coronavirus Coronavirus Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 22:49

Services of online groceries were severely disrupted in various parts of the country after the 21-day nationwide lockdown was imposed, resulting in confusion and delayed and/or cancelled orders. There were multiple reports of delivery executives being harassed and beaten up by police officers, as well as shuttering of warehouses. Panic-buying also ensued on Tuesday night following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement.

In Bengaluru, this announcement was preceded by confusion, as many grocery shops were not open on Tuesday. Police officials, in different areas of the city, closed down grocery stores despite the government notification on the lockdown exempting grocery stores from being shut down. Some stores, however, were open on Wednesday.

In an update on Wednesday, Karnataka’s Director General of Police, Praveen Sood, informed that grocery stores and supermarkets all over the state can remain open round-the-clock.

“For the convenience of citizens, grocery shops and supermarkets seeking food articles can be open 24*7 all over the state. Cooperate with the police by avoiding crowding,” he said.

In Virajpet in Kodagu, grocery shops were open for two hours in the morning, prompting panic-driven residents to rush to stores to stock up on essentials.

Online groceries also struggled as many were forced to halt services till they were classified as essential services.

On Wednesday evening, the Bengaluru police stated that movement passes would be provided to those in essential services.

In Hyderabad, Principal Secretary of the Industries & Commerce Department, Jayesh Ranjan, said that all delivery e-commerce companies have to obtain movement passes. “All delivery ecom companies pl obtain movement passes for your essential staff and vehicles by sending a mail to covid19.hyd@gmail.com with required details: name, vehicle number, route & company name,” he tweeted.

Similarly, the Greater Chennai Corporation informed that e-commerce services which supply groceries are permitted to operate.

Online grocers

In an update on Thursday, Big Basket informed that it was currently functional in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Bhopal, Coimbatore, Indore, Mumbai, Mysore, Noida, Surat and Vadodara. The company said that for these locations, they were booked for the next 4-5 days. Big Basket is currently not operational but expects to be soon in Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow, Nagpur, Patna and Vijayawada after getting classified as essential services. Kochi, too, is expected to resume at some point, but the company did not offer a timeline on the same.

It is not operational in Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Ludhiana, Pune and Visakhapatnam.

Grofers resumed collecting orders in Delhi and Gurugram on Wednesday evening, after their warehouses were shuttered on Tuesday and delivery personnel harassed. There was no clarity regarding their status in other cities.

Swiggy’s Supr Daily said that due to challenges on the ground and other restrictions, deliveries for Mumbai, Pune, Delhi-NCR and Hyderabad stood suspended for Thursday. The company added that they would be attempting deliveries for Bengaluru and Chennai.

“We sincerely apologise for this. We are working with local government authorities to settle this and expect a resolution soon. We will keep you updated on when you can start ordering, so we can start serving you again,” the company said.