Delhi Police withdraw order allowing online delivery services to operate in city

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After PM Narendra Modi announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, there was a confusion among online retailers regarding providing services. (File)

Hours after allowing several online retail firms to resume their delivery services in the national capital, the Delhi Police Thursday issued a statement withdrawing its previous order with immediate effect. The revised guidelines will be released shortly, the police said.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police directed all its personnel to allow persons and vehicles engaged in essential services to remain operational in the national capital while also listing out names of retailers and online delivery services that shall be allowed to function.

The directive came a day after Delhi Police held a meeting with representatives of e-commerce websites and assured them help in ensuring smooth movement of essential services.

Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, 24 Seven, Blue Dart, DTDC, Wow Express, Swiggy, Grofers, BigBasket, MilkBaasket, Dunzo, Big Bazaar, Snapdeal, Licious, Medlife, Pharmeasy, UrbanClap, Ninjacart, Honsa Conumer Pvt. Limited, Healthians Diagnostics, Delhivery Pvt Limited, Nutrimoo Milk Dairy, More Retail Limited, Easyday, Jabong, Myntra, Spencer's, Reliance Fresh, Jubilant Food Works, Foodpanda, Faaso's, Pizza Hut, Uber Eats, Needs Supermart Pvt Limited, 1MG, Dr. Lal Path Labs, Max-Path, Satvacart, Iifco and any other e-commerce retailers and operators were allowed to function in the national capital, according to police.

After Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday to break the transmission chain of novel coronavirus, there was a confusion among online retailers regarding providing services.

E-tailers such as Grofers, FreshToHome and 1mg told The Indian Express that their staff were harassed and their warehouses were sealed following the order.

With reports like these pouring in from many cities, the MHA asked all states and union territories to draft standard operating protocols, set up helplines and appoint nodal officers to coordinate delivery of essential goods.

“We got reports that labourers and truckers were man-handled in some states when they tried to tell police personnel they were connected with railway freight movement,” a senior government official told The Indian Express.

Grocers such as BigBasket and Flipkart suspended operations because of “restrictions imposed by local authorities on movement of goods in spite of clear guidelines provided by central authorities to enable essential services”.

Gurgaon's Commissioner of Police Mohammad Akil had issued orders to senior officers to ensure 12 “online delivery services” are “allowed to operate” during the lockdown.

In the midst of some online delivery services suspending operations, supermarket chain Big Bazaar launched a doorstep delivery service in various cities. Soon after, the company issued a statement Wednesday: “In light of the recent announcement, we are receiving an unprecedented number of requests for doorstep delivery. There could be delay due to the restrictions on movements”.

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