In its bid to ensure a free flow of essential goods amid lockdown in rural areas, the government has decided to work with nearly 2,000 Common Service Centres. Over 3.8 Lakh CSCs across the country reach over 60 Cr people.
The Times of India reported quoting CSC CEO Dinesh Tyagi that these outlets set up and run by private individuals under the aegis of the ministry of electronics and IT, have been engaging in the sale and supply of essential commodities like vegetables, milk, pulses, fruits and other products.
Customers can now go online and order supplies through an app that has been provided to village-level entrepreneurs (VLEs) or those given the charge of retail and other CSC activities. The VLEs then make arrangements to transport the goods within a few hours. VLEs have also been allowed to take offline orders.
After initial hiccups in delivery of essentials in Tier 1 cities, grocery delivery players had been able to ramp up supply chain issues to fulfill grocery delivery needs. However, in Tier 2 and Tier 3 markets lack of access to online platforms and dependency on ration shops was higher.
With SOPs like social distancing and movement of people in place, startups had risen to the crisis to help the delivery of essentials. From B2B players like Shopkirana to ecommerce players like Grozip, several small-town startups have been offering essential services during lockdown.
On April 26, the government allowed shops selling non-essential items to open, while curbs were not lifted for ecommerce companies to deliver non-essential items. According to the order, shops located in residential areas within or outside the limits of municipalities and municipal areas were allowed to open. Meanwhile, market complexes, administered by municipal corporations, are expected to remain closed until further notice.