As part of its exit strategy from the complete lockdown announced last week amid surging Covid-19 cases, Ahmedabad has permitted home deliveries of essentials on if payment is made digitally.
While a move towards reopening of vegetable, fruit and grocery shops starting May 15 is being made, civic authorities have directed all retail outlets to use only cashless payment modes for home deliveries. The move is being made in an attempt to prevent spread of novel coronavirus through use of currency notes.
All retail joints and multi-brand retail outlets including D-Mart, Osia Hypermart, Big Basket, Big Bazar, Zomato and Swiggy, among others have been asked to screen 100 per cent of their delivery staff who should be hired from non-containment areas.
Ahmedabad has been under complete lockdown since May 7, with only milk and medical shops allowed to operate even as the city reported over 5,800 positive cases with more than 380 deaths due to Covid-19 by Sunday May 10 evening.
According to a circular on Monday, Rajiv Kumar Gupta, additional chief secretary to Gujarat government, who has been assigned the task to oversee COVID-19 response in Ahmedabad, "it has been made mandatory/compulsory to accept digital modes of payments through Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and other platforms. Thus home delivery has been made mandatorily cashless."
The circular does not allow any cash-on-delivery (COD) payment for home deliveries.
As part of the home delivery protocol, health cards will also be issued to delivery staff with a validity of seven days which needs to be renewed periodically. Delivery staff on duty will have to mandatorily use gloves, sanitation cap and sanitizers, apart from following social distancing norms.
Civic authorities have also made it mandatory for every staff of the retail outlets to compulsorily download Aarogya Setu App on their phones.
Meanwhile, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and its 100 health team will undertake door-to-door approach for around 17,000 retail shops of vegetables, fruits, milk, groceries among others to guide and pursue them to get online payment apps installed on their phones and provide "technical support and popularize payment through UPI".