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Telangana police permits e-com, food delivery services to operate after public outcry

KV Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on May 23, 2021

Hyderabad police checking the vehicles of app-based delivery aggregators during the lock down at Khaitarabad circle in Hyderabad on Saturday   -  Ramakrishan G

E-commerce services in Hyderabad and Secunderabad were hit on Saturday after police seized vehicles belonging to delivery boys and slapped fines on them

After a huge public outcry over police interrupting e-commerce deliveries, the Telangana police have agreed to let the e-commerce and app-based food delivery firms resume their services.

Following reports of police seizing a large number of vehicles belonging to the drivers and delivery boys and slapping fines on them, Telangana Director General of Police M Mahender Reddy asked the chiefs of three commissionerates to ensure seamless functioning of the e-commerce companies.

 

E-commerce services were severely hit in different parts of Hyderabad and Secunderabad on Saturday. The staff working for food delivery firms such as Zomato and Swiggy and e-groceries firm Big Basket have objected to the police excesses, saying that the Government Order on lockdown has exempted e-commerce operations from the lockdown restrictions.

Food delivery workers were stuck with food parcels with them and their vehicles were seized by the police.

Besides stopping vehicles, the police also issued a statement on Saturday, stipulating time limits for movement of goods vehicles between 9 pm and 8 am.

E-commerce companies have objected to this norm. “This notification will put a lot of hardship on the citizens. Free movement of essential goods and services is critical for life to go on,” TN Hari of Big Basket, has said.

Telangana IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao assured the e-commerce firms that he would talk to the police and resolve the issue.

While welcoming the police decision to allow the services to run unobstructed, the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers' Union has asked the police to waive off the penalties levied on the workers.

“The services are exempt from the lockdown norms. But the police seized vehicles and slapped fines,” Shaik Salauddin, Founder-President of the union, told BusinessLine.

No clarity on cab services

He alleged that there is no clarity on whether cab services are exempt from lockdown norms. “The apps are working and people are booking rides. But the drivers are being fined for violating the lockdown norms. We need clarity on this,” he said.

Published on May 23, 2021

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