As part of strict enforcement of lockdown measures to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, and to lessen the number of people venturing out of homes to buy essentials, a doorstep delivery system was launched in Bengaluru two days ago.
A joint initiative of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Karnataka State Disaster Management Authority offers citizens doorstep delivery of essentials, including groceries, medicines, vegetables, and others, by receiving orders through calls or WhatsApp (08061914960).
To check the efficacy of the service, indianexpress.com placed an order by following the process mentioned. Here is how it works:
As soon as a “hi” message was sent to the number, an automated reply from the chatbox sought details such as full name, location, and order items.
On entering these, and placing the order — which can be typed as a text message or can be sent as an image of a list of things needed manually written on paper, an SMS confirmation of the same and a WhatsApp reply with the “Order ID” was received.
“Please remember that this is an emergency service and in case we are unable to get your requested brand or item, please understand that there are limited resources and transportation of goods during this time,” the reply mentioned.
However, within five minutes, the delivery executive called back at the registered number. Stating that he was at the nearest kirana at the location, he said, “This shop does not allow online delivery of items. Can you please place another order. I am not allowed to go to any other shop.”
On his directions, a second order was placed after which another delivery executive said, “Not all items are available in the nearest shop. Can you please suggest another supermarket in the area?”
While the executive was directed to a bigger supermarket near the location, he accepted the order and called again after the purchase.
“Delivery items will be picked up from the shop only after the amount is paid in advance using any online method,” he said.
As the payment was made, the delivery executive confirmed receipt and reached the location to deliver the items within 15 minutes.
Soon after delivering, the executive showed his phone seeking delivery charges of Rs 20 which was paid separately apart from the order bill.
The test delivery, hence became successful after 1 hour, and two attempts with separate delivery executives, and more than four telephone calls.
According to Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, around 5,000 delivery agents will be roped in from various private agencies to partner with the initiative. “I request people not to step out of their homes and make use of this service,” he had said.
In its pilot version, the initiative has begun operating in areas falling under Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency. According to BBMP officials, the helpline number is expected to aid an estimated 7.5 lakh people residing in 2.5 lakh households in the areas. As many as 1926 stores in the area have been identified by the Bengaluru City Police for the operation in Bangalore South areas.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, BBMP Commissioner B H Anil Kumar said that the initiative is expanding on a daily basis with over 16,000 shops signing up themselves for the same in the city.
According to Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya, over 21,000 people have used the services in the last three days. “As many as 6,660 people have called and 15,231 people have reached out to us on WhatsApp in the last 3 days for delivery of essentials in Bengaluru,” he said.
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