Home delivery service proves to be a 'damp squib' in Srinagar

Amid restrictions, the administrations’ claims to ensure home delivery of bakery and other essentials for Eid celebrations proved to be a “damp squib” in Srinagar, forcing people to come out of their homes to shop.

Despite visiting many places, people returned home empty handed after they failed to purchase bakery and other items for Eid.

“I looked for bakery, milk and mutton at several places, but couldn’t spot the essentials anywhere. So, I am returning home empty-handed,” said AbidGul of HabbaKadal.

Omar Mukhtar, President, Kashmir Bakers and Confectioners Association confirmed that much publicized “home delivery” could not take off as was expected. He attributed the suspension of mobile phone service and internet services a few days ago on May 19 and lack of publicity as the main reasons for failure of the initiative by the administration.

 “People don’t know which number to contact for placing the orders. We expected authorities to give publicity to home delivery service. But they didn’t do it, so the result was obvious,” Mukhtar said.

He said of 180 bakeries in Srinagar, just 70 bakeries had prepared items for customers. “Even I didn’t operationalize my unit.”

“Every bakery just got around 100 to 150 orders for home delivery. It is no business as compared to the orders being placed on Eid,” he said.

On May 15, this year, the Srinagar district administration had decided to allow home delivery of bakery items in Srinagar by bakery units in the run up to Eid-ul-Fitr.

Mukhtar said the initiative of home delivery was “too late” announced by the authorities.

“It would have been better and more effective in case such order was made much earlier by authorities to make the proposal grand success,” Mukhtar said.

He said he also heard the reports of people thronging bakery shops to get the products for Eid and in turn violating social distancing norms.

Many people said either the essential products for festival celebration were not in market or were being sold at exorbitant rates.

“Today, a chicken is sold at Rs 200 per kg, mutton Rs 780 per kg and a simple cake at Rs 80,” they complained.