After several e-commerce and food delivery aggregators complained about harassment from police personnel to their delivery persons, the Bengaluru city police Commissioner held a meeting with their representatives and announced that passes will be issued to ensure smooth movement. Online grocery delivery website, Big Basket had issued an advisory stating 'we are not operational due to restrictions imposed by local authorities on the movement of goods in spite of clear guidelines provided by central authorities to enable essential services. We are working with the authorities to be back soon'.
Bhaskar Rao, CoP, Bengaluru, after the meeting, explained the new regulation that aimed to reduce confusion and chaos. He observed, "After the announcement of the 21-day lockdown, keeping in view what the ministry of home affairs has passed under the national disaster management act, the list of essential and nonessential will be adhered to. It is necessary that households should be kept running otherwise there will be chaos. So the facility for people to essentials is drastically limited but not denied."
While certain essential service providers will not require passes to travel within the city, some others can obtain a pass to ensure they are not stopped. He said, "We intend to give vehicular and personal passes to people. Employees of the Government have to display their identity cards prominently. This applies to also employees of the high court and the subordinate courts which are functional. vehicles that are obviously of service like ambulances, water tankers, oil tankers and vehicles that carry food grains do not need any kind of passes."
Explaining who can approach the nearest deputy commissioner' office for passes, Rao said, "Passes will be given to security guards, petrol gas LPG retail employees, those in charge of and working in banks ATMs insurance companies, delivery persons of food aggregators like Swiggy, Zomato, Dunzo, and others, online medicine websites and companies, all e-commerce platforms like Flipkart, Amazon and others."
The CEO of Flipkart Group issued a statement on Wednesday evening that they will resume services after they had to suspend for a brief while. He stated, “We have been assured of the safe and smooth passage of our supply chain and delivery executives by local law enforcement authorities and are resuming our grocery & essentials services later today. We continue to strengthen our supply chain in a safe & secure manner for our employees & consumers alike and will leverage our efficient & robust delivery network to make products available to customers."
The Bengaluru commissioner, however, issued a caution to anybody who might be caught misusing the passes. "Issuing of these passes are done on the basis of trust and with a letter from the organization. Anybody who is misleading or falsifying or impersonating will be booked and serious action will be taken against them under the NDMA act as well as under IPC," he noted.