Lately, the city of Hyderabad has been witnessing how Hyderabad police has been rounding up the delivery executives of Food aggregators Swiggy and Zomato, seizing their vehicles and slapping fines on them and hence they have declared to have pause operations in Hyderabad until further clarity from the Telangana government on lockdown restrictions in the state is received.
Food Aggregators Seek Clarity From Govt, While Police Violate GO
E-commerce (delivery) of goods and merchandise including food, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment was included in the list of permitted activities by the Telangana government before announcing a lockdown.
Although, police on Saturday stopped delivery executives and in some instances, even assaulted them, eventually violating the state’s own Government Order (GO).
Plight of Delivery Executives
Zomato officials had told the media that they had been notified that the app would be operational until 4pm on Saturday evening. Several service delivery officials were stationed at checkpoints set up by the police as part of enforcing a ban on orders from Prime Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Their bicycles were confiscated and many were fined Rs 1000. A spokesman for Zomato said, “This was an unexpected development as the government’s official directive allowed the delivery of food as essential services.
Swiggy executives also faced a similar challenge on Saturday and video footage of police attacking several service managers with laathis emerged. A spokesman for Swiggy said, “While a recent government decree allows Swiggy to serve as an important function not only for our food delivery but also for Swiggy Genie and other services, we have suspended our operations due to today’s challenges”.
Police later clarified that e-commerce food delivery has a work permit. Rachakonda Commissioner Mahesh Baghwath speaking to NTV Telugu, clarified that the delivery of e-commerce food has a work permit. The officer said officers were evacuated after people were found abusing Swiggy and Zomato T-shirts to roam during the closure. “There is permission in e-commerce for food delivery but some young people have been abusing Swiggy and Zomato T-shirts to roam. The investigation was launched after the discovery of a number of people posing as porters who wore T-shirts to travel. If you have passes, follow the routes outlined below. Those who violate this will be booked under the Disaster Management Act and Section 188 Indian Penal Code (IPC).