Day 2 of COVID-19 lockdown was no different for people who tried to book online delivery of essential items like groceries, milk and vegetables at Bigbasket, Grofers and other online platforms. To one user's amusement, he got the next delivery slot on Grofers for Monday, April 13.
"When trying to place a new order, the earliest delivery date is coming out to be Monday 13th April. I mean seriously? 19 day waiting period during a lockdown of 21?" Tanmay posted to Grofers on Twitter.
The online delivery platform replied: "Due to the current situation and spike in demand, you have experienced a high turnaround time for the delivery of your order. While we understand that this isn't ideal, we're acting to execute things for you as soon as possible".
The company said it has gone live in a few cities with the help of local authorities and is hopeful of restarting operations in other cities within a day or two. It, however, did not disclose in which cities it has resumed delivery of essential items. People experienced similar woes on Bigbasket.
Noida resident Arun Kumar, 42, placed an order for fruits on Thursday morning and got the message from Bigbasket: "Unfortunately, we do not have any available slots to service you right now. Please try again later".
Bigbasket posted on Twitter: "Our delivery executives are working around the clock and overtime to deliver essentials to as many customers as possible". A Pune resident replied: "Didn't get delivery of Milk today, vegetable orders already canceled. Plz confirm "tomorrow u guys going to deliver milk or not?"
On food delivery platform Swiggy, some new restaurants popped up for Noida Sector 143 residents, although no known restaurants names were available. Some city authorities late on Wednesday allowed home delivery of essential goods by online apps.
Gurugram Police Commissioner Mohammad Akil said that operators like Zomato, Flipkart, Amazon, Bluedart, Wow Express, Swiggy, Grofers, Bigbasket, Milk Basket, Dunzo, Big Bazaar, and Iffco Tokyo will be allowed to continue delivery services.
Online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon along with delivery platforms like Bigbasket, Grofers and FreshToHomes hit a major blockade as local authorities shut warehouses and sent delivery boys back, even harassed them.
Millions of people across cities were left helpless at homes as essential items did not reach their doors despite placing orders well in advance. Despite the assurance from local authorities, the situation remained grim on Thursday.
Amazon India posted on its website that "considering the prevailing extensive lockdowns and restriction in movement, pending deliveries will be delayed. New ordering is available only on essential products through pre-paid payment methods". "We are continuously evaluating the situation and working towards resuming deliveries soon".