With Govt-Run Home Delivery Service, Bangalore Has Become the Envy of Mumbai and Delhi


With Govt-Run Home Delivery Service, Bangalore Has Become the Envy of Mumbai and Delhi

Illustration: Mitesh Parmarl

It’s been a month since India went into a nationwide lockdown, and with the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the country, it appears unlikely that things will return to normal at any point in the near future. This means that those of us privileged enough to be at home are going to have to get used to staying there, at least for the short term. India’s cities are where majority of the positive coronavirus cases are concentrated, and following the lockdown restrictions takes on even greater importance in these crowded urban centres. In Karnataka, the state government has come up with an initiative to help people in Bangalore – one of the worst-hit regions in the state with 110 confirmed infections – stay at home called Homeline.

Homeline, which is currently only active for residents of Bangalore, is a government helpline that citizens can use to avail home delivery of essential goods without leaving their house. Homeline, a brainchild of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), was launched by the state’s Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa on Tuesday, and will ensure the delivery of groceries, essential household items, and medicines during the lockdown.

News18 reported Yediyurappa as saying as many 5,000 delivery executives would be roped in from private agencies to carry out deliveries, and The Economic Times also quoted the CM as saying around 18,000 neighbourhood general stores and vendors in Bangalore had registered themselves with the BBMP. The process by which citizens can avail of Homeline’s services is by messaging the provided number (08061914960) on SMS or WhatsApp, sharing their location, and providing their shopping list, before having their order confirmed over SMS. The deliveries will be made the same day, and be charged a fee of ₹10.

While the Homeline service has attracted positive headlines for the most part for the way the state government is taking an initiative to ensure people remain at home, there have been some gripes and teething problems.

One user claimed that they were being overcharged for the goods that they received.

Another questioned why the government was taking on the burden of delivery instead of outsourcing it to private companies already engaged in home delivery.

However, many others were eager to see such services rolled out in their own states after seeing the example set in Karnataka.

Well as far as the lockdown goes, residents of Bangalore now have bragging rights over Mumbai and Delhi.