Swiggy, Zomato get a reprieve from Maharashtra lockdown

Mumbai: Food delivery apps, such as Swiggy and Zomato, are allowed to operate even after 8:00 pm in Maharashtra during the two-week lockdown in the state, according to a clarification issued by police authorities on Wednesday evening.

This, at a time when e-commerce deliveries by Amazon, Flipkart and their ilk are allowed only between 7:00 am and 8:00 pm. They are not allowed to sell non-essentials either.

“There are no time restrictions placed in Tuesday’s order (by the state government), they can deliver food after 8:00 pm. Restaurants can also remain open but only for takeaways,” DCP S Chaitanya, who is also the spokesperson for Mumbai Police, told ET.

Ashwini Bhide, additional municipal commissioner of Mumbai Municipal Corporation, took to Twitter to clarify that previous orders that allowed 24×7 home delivery of essential services in Mumbai, stand.

While restaurants listed on Swiggy continued to take orders post 8:00 pm on Wednesday, Zomato stopped operations, citing the state government’s guidelines. Zomato’s CEO Deepinder Goyal pointed out as much in a tweet, but later welcomed Bhide’s tweet clarifying the latest guidelines.

To be sure, Swiggy’s app for a brief period did show a notification that owing to the latest guidelines, it won’t be taking orders after 8:00 pm. The notification was removed after ET reached out to Swiggy seeking a clarification. A Swiggy spokesperson said that food delivery apps had received confirmation from Mumbai Police to operate as part of the essential service category.

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Anurag Katriar, president of the National Restaurant Association of India, said restaurants weren’t sure if they could stay open as the latest order does not specify timings for food delivery. The source of confusion was Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s April 7 guidelines that allowed 24×7 deliveries of food and essentials via online platforms.

“We have been assured that deliveries will continue as per the previous 24×7 order and a clarification will be issued soon,” Katriar said.


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