Andhra Pradesh

Amid lockdown, door delivery of groceries likely to improve situation in Tirupati

Grocery items loaded into a cargo carrier of a supermarket in Tirupati on Wednesday, to be delivered at the door steps of customers.

Grocery items loaded into a cargo carrier of a supermarket in Tirupati on Wednesday, to be delivered at the door steps of customers.   | Photo Credit: K.V. Poornachandra Kumar

Staff movement is still a roadblock, and uncertainty hangs over stock replenishment

In view of the lockdown implemented to curtail public movement, the measure announced by the Municipal Corporation of Tirupati (MCT) to allow door delivery of groceries to the doorsteps is expected to drastically bring down the number of people scrambling for procuring the same.

Departmental stores, shopping malls and super markets have been directed to completely shut down operations, in view of the high footfalls they normally register on any given day. However, smaller general stores and groceries located in lanes and market areas are allowed to be open in the early hours of the day.

Few stores permitted

MCT has issued orders permitting four super markets, having six outlets across the city, to door-deliver groceries to the denizens and prominently publicised their mobile numbers. The registration numbers of their cargo vehicles were also prominently mentioned in the order copy so as to facilitate their free movement on the city roads that are thoroughly guarded by lathi-wielding policemen. This way, the civic body aims to drastically bring down the number of people thronging the roads.

The super markets are learnt to be getting sufficient orders over telephone, which are being dispatched in phases. “We have pressed four cargo auto rickshaws into service to distribute the groceries and have received 200 orders before 10.30 am today,” said P. Balaji, partner at Pasuparthy Super Market, one of the four allowed by MCT. Our store will be able to supply groceries for the next four to five days, if the demand remains constant, Mr. Balaji added.

Identity issues

Though permission has been accorded for vehicular movement, staff of several super markets failed to reach the originating point on time. “Early in the day, policemen stopped us at various points and asked us to clear the spot, as we do not possess an identity card issued by an authorised agency indicating our role in the discharge of such emergency services,” said a delivery boy of another hyper market. The outlets also faced hiccups in the internal movement of stock between warehouses and points of sale.

With the shelves getting empty faster than ever and the stores running out of stock, replenishment could become a serious issue in the foreseeable future. As the roads leading into the city are completely locked down, supply of stock to the super markets appears to be a nightmare. Though no panic button has been pressed as of now, the State government has to take a quick decision to overcome this challenge in a day or two.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 5:06:58 AM |

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