'Engaging with e-commerce for delivery of essentials'

Proactively engaging with e-commerce portals for seamless delivery of essential goods: Delhi police

Delhi police on Wednesday said they are proactively engaging with e-commerce portals and issuing passes to ensure their agents are able to commute seamlessly and deliver essential goods to residents during the 21-day lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a complete lockdown across the country, asserting that social distancing is the only way out against the novel coronavirus.

E-commerce and home delivery come under essential services and are exempted from the lockdown rules but reports said the delivery agents were facing difficulties in reaching their destinations.

Senior police officials, including DCP Eish Singhal and Additional DCP Deepak Yadav of New Delhi District, held a meeting with the representatives of e-commerce platforms such as Flipkart, Zomato, Snapdeal and BigBasket and listened to the problems they were facing due to the lockdown.

"We have set up a platform for e-commerce websites where they can share with us difficulties faced by them, so we can solve them," said Mandeep Singh Randhawa, Delhi police PRO.

Curfew passes were being issued to e-commerce agents to ensure seamless delivery of goods, he said, adding 6,141 passes for movement during the lockdown have been issued till 5pm Wednesday.

On Tuesday, 2,319 such passes were issued.

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Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava asked on-duty officials to take precautions and said he has received reports of "misconduct" by some personnel with essential services staffers.

"I urge police personnel to use masks and sanitisers regularly and maintain social distancing during their duties. We have heard about the misconduct of police during checking. There would be no hustle during checking of essential services staff such as doctors and home delivery agents," Shrivastava said.

He urged people to not come out of their homes unnecessarily, as the latest updates showed that the coronavirus cases touched 606 across the country with 10 deaths.

A senior police official said they have sensitised police personnel to allow the delivery agents so that people don't have to come out of their homes.

Pamplets outlining specific categories of people allowed on roads have been made for police personnel. "Some don't understand that delivery boys also come under essential services. So it was important to sensitise the personnel on ground to ensure smooth movement of essential goods," he said.

In Delhi, the number of cases increased to 35 with five new cases being reported in past 24 hours.

To address queries related to the lockdown, Delhi police will hold a one-hour session regularly on Twitter. They held a similar session on Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said on Twitter that police have marked dedicated lanes with proper signage to assist emergency and essential services vehicles. 

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