Even after the central government’s announcement that food delivery is an essential service during the nationwide 21-day lockdown to contain the spread of Covid-19 that began on Wednesday, Tamil Nadu is yet to allow food delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy to continue their operations in the state.
The state government has permitted e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and other essential services to operate during the lockdown.
While many state governments have resolved the issue, Zomato, Swiggy and Uber Eats still await the nod from the Tamil Nadu government.
Responding to Entrackr’s queries, Swiggy confirmed the development adding that the company is still talking with the government. Zomato is yet to comment.
Earlier, the state government had issued a notification under the Epidemic Disease Act, 1897 and regulations, which restricted the operations of food delivery apps from 6 PM on March 24 to 6 AM on April 1 in the first phase of the lockdown.
In the initial days of the lockdown, e-commerce, food delivery and the e-grocery platforms had blamed local authorities for hindering and harassing their delivery partners despite clear guidelines from the central government to allow them to function under essential services.
After receiving several complaints, the central government led by the CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant and the state governments swung into action.
Many states led by Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra, and cities in the national capital region like Gurugram and Noida have allowed the delivery of essential goods via online apps, issuing directives to local bodies and police authorities to support smooth operations of these players.