Zomato and Swiggy on Tuesday (May 26) started the home delivery of alcohol in Odisha, less than a week after starting similar product services in the state of Jharkhand, as part of its efforts to prevent overcrowding at shops amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zomato said in a statement that starting with Bhubaneswar, the company will soon expand delivery services to other cities such as Rourkela, Sambalpur, Balasore, Berhampur Balangir, and Cuttack. Swiggy, in a separate statement said that its home delivery service set active in Bhubaneswar and Rourkela on Tuesday (May 26) after obtaining some necessary approvals from the Odisha government. It plans to expand delivery services in other major cities of the state.
Most of the liquor shops were closed in the first three phases of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown which started on March 25. In the fourth phase, which on from May 18, few liquor shops were opened except in certain places. The extended lockdown 4.0 is to end on May 31. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had also asked the states to consider a non-direct contact or online sales and to encourage home delivery of liquor to prevent the spread of COVID-19, by avoiding overcrowding at shops.
Zomato is working with excise departments to ensure end-to-end compliance with the safety guidelines and is also introducing identification of verification protocols to promote responsible ordering.
Meanwhile, earlier this month when some liquor shops opened in states like Karnataka and West Bengal, the sales recorded by them were overwhelming. West Bengal registered sales worth ₹40 crore on day one of the lockdown relaxation.