Karnataka chief minister B.S.Yediyurappa on Tuesday launched ‘Homeline’, an app to home-deliver groceries and vegetables, to cover Bengaluru Urban district and help keep people indoors during the lockdown.
The app also aims to discourage people from stepping out of their homes to purchase groceries, medicines or other essential items and risk contracting the novel coronavirus, that has so far infected 418 in Karnataka and claimed 17 lives. The rise in numbers has forced the state government to continue restrictions till 3 May to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“I believe that this (app) is an important step to keeping people safe,” Yediyurappa said on Tuesday.
The app adds to the growing list of technological interventions by the state like distribution of food and ration to migrant labourers and beneficiaries, GPS tracking of home quarantine patients, busting fake news among other applications in its battle against covid-19.
The app was earlier piloted in Bengaluru South parliamentary constituency, where the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP, the city’s civic body) partnered with other online delivery partners like Dunzo, Rapido, HouseJoy, Shadowfox and Swiggy among others.
Over 3000 delivery partners will now be available for deliveries for a fee of ₹10.
Kaleyra has provided the WhatsApp Chatbot for the helpline, which is manned by call center employees of 7.ai. Cartoon Mango-ITW Consulting developed the platform entirely with support from the office of the Bengaluru South member of parliament, Elephant Ear Consulting and iSpirt.
B.H.Anil Kumar, the BBMP commissioner said that the app would aid efforts to keep people indoors and discourage them from going to even the neighbourhood stores during the lockdown. However, he said that this was an “option” and that shopkeepers across the city can make use of this technology.
Kirana stores would have to get on the platform while citizens can call on 080 61914960, speak to the call centre personnel and place the order or send a list via WhatsApp. The delivery would be made within a day.
The app has geo-mapped about 16000 grocery, medical, vegetable and fruit vendors onto this helpline, according to a statement from the office of the Bengaluru South MP, Tejaswi Surya.
He said that the team had developed the platform in a way that items are bought from the stores located closest to the customer’s house. “We have thus ensured that even your neighbourhood store is able to conduct sufficient trade during the lockdown,” he said.