With a further extension of lockdown by two weeks looming large, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Sunday launched a dedicated helpline number to ensure essentials are delivered at the doorsteps to the residents.
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. Follow LIVE Updates
Bangalore South Lok Sabha MP Tejasvi Surya said citizens could avail of the services by just dialing the helpline number 080-61914960 or via WhatsApp and don’t need to download any new application.
#COVID19 Home delivery Helpline launched in #Bengaluru. Essentials from 1926 stores can be now delivered to an estimated 7.5 lakh people living in 2.5 lakh households in South Bengaluru to begin with. Helpline number: 080-61914960 @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/IveiEPwxIm
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) April 12, 2020
“The service can be easily used by citizens using basic handsets too as they can reach out to the helpline number to place orders verbally. Citizens can also place specific requirements (including brand name of products) and the required quantity. Our delivery executives will ensure that each user’s needs are met within 24 hours,” Surya said.
Surya said orders could be placed by sending WhatsApp texts to the same number as well. “Tech-savvy users can instead text the requirements with details. For homemakers habituated to prepare written ‘to-buy’ lists, the same can be sent as an image on WhatsApp too, which will be processed by our volunteers and sent to the delivery executives,” Surya said.
According to BBMP officials, the pilot version of the initiative will cater to the population living in and around Jayanagar, Basavangudi, Padmanabhanagar, and Chickpet.
The police, under the jurisdiction of Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), has identified 958 provision stores, 323 vegetable stores, 479 medical stores, 82 meat stores and 84 stores selling other items for the initiative. Such stores have been mapped and shared via social media to the public as well, BBMP officials added.
Revenue Minister R Ashok, who is the MLA of Padmanabhagar, said the helpline idea was put forth by an expert panel which studied the possibilities of such an initiative in contributing to containing the spread of coronavirus in the city.
“If this pilot project turns out to be effective and results in a lesser number of citizens venturing out of homes to buy essentials, there are plans of extending the service across Bengaluru city,” Ashok said.
Over 10 online delivery platforms and eight companies have collaborated with the government to fuel this initiative, according to a BBMP statement.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines