As reported on 23rd March, 2020
, the total number of people infected in India crossed 450 which resulted in a massive lock down. This has resulted people into stockpiling the essentials. This has led to a shortage in the supplies available. The social distancing norms were implemented and people were spotted flocking to the markets. Many took the online route to prepare for the complete lock down. Online vendors such as Grofers are facing difficulties in meeting the orders as the warehouses have been ordered to remain shut and any sort of delivery needs to be stopped. The company's co-founder Saurabh Kumar took to Twitter on 22nd March, 2020 and wrote, “Having a lot of trouble getting essentials to people who need them",
citing "harassment by police and local goons".
“Due to some confusion regarding the services exempted, many of our delivery riders were stopped and arrested which led to a delay in the delivery of almost 60,000 orders countrywide. This does not affect the morale of the delivery staff who are working selflessly to support people but is also causing inconvenience to many customers who are relying on our services
.” Stated Albinder Dhindsa, co-founder and CEO of Grofers. Saurabh again took to Twitter on March 23, 2020, stating that groceries are an essential service and thus should not fall under the purview of the lock down. "Despite assurances that grocery is an essential service and grofers should continue to operate, police and local authorities continue to shut warehouses,"
"Grofers warehouses cater to 5000 to 10000 orders daily so for every facility that gets shut we risk that many households venturing out for grocery buying. Hoping sense prevails here,"
he added.The government had released on 22nd March, 2020, a press note stating essential services would continue to function irrespective of the near complete lock down.
For this intent and purpose, all essential services include food and grocery stores.Additionally, the list includes hospitals and chemist shops that are exempt from the lock-down restrictions as well as banking services, e-commerce operations, cooking gas suppliers and communication services.Author - Dyuti Pandya