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COVID-19: E-commerce companies can get passes to operate in Hyderabad during curfew

Update (March 27 10:08 am): In addition to having passes, “delivery persons in uniforms and with I-cards are being allowed” in Hyderabad, Telangana’s IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan told us.

  • Online delivery services will be allowed only between 6 am and 6 pm, the DGP of Telangana Police tweeted. Ranjan clarified that this applies to all delivery services, including Amazon, Flipkart, etc.
  • “Zomato and Swiggy are permitted to operate in the city [without passes] because they have proper passes and licensed vehicles,” he said. But they have also been given some passes as extra precaution.
  • 35,000 passes have been issued since the Hyderabad Police Commissioner started issuing passes on March 25. Most of these passes have not been issued to big companies, but to smaller operators such as milk vendors, kirana shop operators, pharmacies, people who bring in packaged water, milk supplieres, etc., Ranjan told us. The aim is to get the whole supply chain, from manufacturing to delivery to consumers, up and running.

Also read the standard operating procedure released by the Home Ministry.

You’re reading it here first: All facilities in the supply chain of

All delivery and e-commerce companies in Hyderabad can obtain passes for their essential staff and vehicles by sending an email to covid19.hyd@gmail.com, Jayesh Ranjan, the IT Secretary for the state of Telangana, tweeted. These passes can be obtained for 11 kinds of delivery related services, including milk and dairy; vegetable; meat, fish and chicken; medicines and pharmacies; e-commerce; food delivery (including from restaurants); edible oil; petroleum; and newspapers, Ranjan told MediaNama. Passes will be approved “then and there” via email. This also includes passes for deliveries by local stores.

Ranjan said that the passes will be issued by the police commissioner and will be valid in Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda. “We will be preparing all the passes by late afternoon and giving them to all these players. So hopefully from tomorrow, things will become perfectly streamlined,” he said. These passes are necessary as a 21-day curfew was announced in the country to inhibit the spread of COVID-19. The Ministry of Home Affairs has exempted delivery of all essential goods through e-commerce from the 21-day curfew.

Are logistics and courier companies included? Logistics and courier companies are not included in the list. “Logistics companies who support all these operations will get these passes through their companies. So if Amazon supplies groceries to consumers by taking help of certain logistics companies, then Amazon will get the passes for them,” Ranjan said. Thus, the “end company” will have to get passes for their entire supply chain.

The meeting with representatives and industry associations took place this afternoon. “Now we have a clear understanding of how their [supply] chains operate,” Ranjan said. With knowledge of where products are sourced, at what time they are delivered, what are their primary entry and exit points, it will be easier to ensure that necessary precautions are taken, Ranjan explained.

Read more about e-commerce operations during the 21-day lockdown here.

***Update (March 27 10:08 am): Response from Telangana IT Secretary Jayesh Ranjan. Originally published on March 25 at 4:54 pm.

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