Delivery services of e-commerce players Amazon, FlipKart, and Big Basket will be allowed during the coronavirus lockdown period in Telangana to avoid inconvenience to the public, the state government said on Wednesday.
Minister for Information Technology (IT) and Industries KT Rama Rao asked Director General of Police (DGP) Mahendar Reddy and IT and Industries Principal Secretary Jayesh Ranjan to ensure free flow of the services and exempt delivery persons from the lockdown.
This came after reports of delivery executives allegedly being stopped and questioned by the police and even being beaten up in some cases, despite delivery being classified as an essential service.
On Tuesday, Flipkart temporarily suspended its services, while Amazon halted orders for non-essential products.
IT and other companies need to utilise their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for activities to prevent coronavirus spread and instructed the officials concerned in various departments to coordinate with the companies in this regard,an official release quoted KTR as saying.
However, the delivery companies will also need to follow the curfew timings in place, and can only carry out deliveries between 6 am and 6 pm, authorities said.
All officers of @hydcitypolice @cyberabadpolice @RachakondaCop have been directed that following online delivery services @Grofers @milkbasket@bigbasket @Zomato @Swiggy @UberEats @Spencers etc.. shall be allowed to operate their services from 6AM to 6PM only. pic.twitter.com/OZ6e17O2e7â€” DGP TELANGANA POLICE (@TelanganaDGP) March 25, 2020
Since most of the roads are empty due to the lockdown in the state, the minister asked the officials to repair the damaged ones in cities and municipalities across the state.
KTR toured various parts of Hyderabad city and inspected the ongoing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus.
He took note of the situation while the lockdown is being implemented in the city, it said.
The minister also visited the Enforcement, Vigilance and Disaster Management (EVDM) office at Buddha Bhavan in Hyderabad. KTR enquired about the measures being taken up by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Disaster Response Force (DRF) to curtail the spread of coronavirus in the city.
KTR later visited the call center set up at the GHMC head office to respond to queries related to coronavirus. The minister interacted with the staff and asked them to respond with empathy to the queries of citizens.
KTR also visited the GHMC night shelter at Golnaka and interacted with the senior citizens and children there. He inquired about the facilities at the night shelter and instructed officials to provide Aasara Pension to the eligible residents.
He appealed to the citizens not to panic and gave them an assurance that the government is taking all steps to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Finally, he also inspected the disinfectant spraying works of DRF at the Erragadda area. Mayor Bonthu Rammohan and EVDM Director Viswajit Kampati accompanied the minister.