Swiggy starts alcohol home delivery in Jharkhand, more to follow
Online food delivery platform Swiggy has started alcohol home delivery service in Jharkhand starting Thursday, even as the company revealed it is also in advanced stages of discussions with multiple state governments for providing similar service.
 
When liquor shops were reopened in Jharkhand on Wednesday for the first time after the lockdown was imposed in the state, tipplers were seen queuing outside these shops, despite an additional 25 per cent Value Added Tax imposed on liquor by the state government.
 
But the residents of Ranchi can now order home delivery of alcohol through the 'Wine Shops' category by updating their Swiggy app, the company said, adding that the service will go live in other major cities in the state within a week.
 
Swiggy said it has obtained necessary approvals from the Jharkhand government for the service.
 
"Since the beginning of the pandemic, Swiggy has relentlessly worked to solve customer pain points and support local governments in every way possible," Anuj Rathi, Swiggy's Vice President for Products said in a statement.
 
"By enabling home delivery of alcohol in a safe and responsible manner, we can generate additional business for retail outlets while solving the problem of overcrowding, thereby promoting social distancing."
 
To ensure safe delivery of alcohol and in compliance with applicable laws, Swiggy has introduced measures such as mandatory age verification and user authentication to complete deliveries.
 
Customers can complete their instant age verification by uploading a picture of their valid government ID, followed by a selfie which the platform will use for authentication using an Artificial Intelligence-powered system, Swiggy said.
 
All orders will carry a unique one-time-password (OTP) which needs to be provided by the customer at the time of delivery.
 
There is also a capping on the order quantity to ensure a customer does not order alcohol above the prescribed limit as per the state law.
 
Swiggy said it is partnering with authorised retailers after validating their license and other required documents as outlined by the respective state governments.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Railways to start bookings for 200 special trains from May 21
    In a major relief to passengers, Indian Railways on Wednesday released the list of 200 Special trains that will run from June 1 and said that these will be fully reserved trains having both air-conditioned and non air-conditioned classes. Bookings for these trains will commence on May 21.
     
    A Railway Ministry spokesperson, in a statement, said that Indian Railways, in consultation with Ministries of Health & Family Welfare, and Home Affairs, has decided that train services will be further partially restored with effect from June 1.
     
    However, other regular passenger services including all mail/express, passenger and suburban services shall remain cancelled until further advice, he said.
     
    The bookings of these Special trains will commence from Thursday at 10 a.m. through IRCTC.
     
    The announcement comes a day after Railway Minister Piyush Goyal announced running of the 200 Special trains from June 1.
     
    The railways have been operating Shramik Special trains to transport the stranded migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims and students from May 1, and from May 12, began 15 pairs of Special air-conditioned trains.
     
    The official said that these 200 Special trains will be fully reserved. "General coaches shall also have reserved seat for sitting. There will be no unreserved coach in the train," he said.
     
    He also said that fares shall be as normal and for General coaches, being reserved, second seating fare shall be charged and seats will be provided to all the passengers.
     
    The official said that only online e-ticketing will be done through IRCTC website or through Mobile App.
     
    "No tickets will be booked across the reservation counter on any railway station. Booking of tickets through 'agents' -- both IRCTC and railway -- shall not be permitted," he said, adding that the advance reservation period in these trains will be 30 days.
     
    The official said that wait-listed and reservation against cancellation tickets will also be generated. "However, passengers with wait-listed ticket will not be allowed to board the train," he said.
     
    The official said that no tickets will be issued onboard to any passenger during the journey and no Tatkal and premium Tatkal booking shall be permitted in these trains.
     
    According to the official, the first chart will be prepared at least four hours before scheduled departure and second will be prepared at least 2 hours, unlike present practice of 30 minutes before the scheduled departure.
     
    The railway official said that all passengers shall be compulsorily screened and only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to enter or board the train.
     
    The railways also said that all quotas shall be permitted in these special trains as has been permitted in regular trains.
     
    "Limited number of reservation counters shall be operated for this purpose. However, normal ticket booking cannot be done through these counters," the official said.
     
    The railways also said that only four categories of Divyangjan concession and 11 categories of patient concessions are permitted in these special trains.
     
    Passengers were advisedto arrive at the station 90 minutes before the departure of the train, and wear face masks.
     
    The official also said that on arrival at their destination, the passengers will have to adhere to such health protocols as are prescribed by the destination state/UT.
     
    The Railway Passengers (Cancellation of Ticket and Refund of Fare) Rules, 2015 shall be applicable for cancellation and instructions have already been issued regarding refund of fare in case passenger is not found fit for travelling due to symptoms of corona.
     
    The official also said that no catering charges shall be included in the fare.
     
    "Provision for pre-paid meal booking, e-catering shall be disabled. However, IRCTC shall make provision for limited eatables and packaged drinking water on payment basis only in limited trains, having pantry car attached," he said, adding passengers are encouraged to carry their own food and drinking water.
     
    The official said that no linen, blankets and curtains shall be provided inside the train.
     
    "Passengers are advised to carry their own linen for the travel. The temperature inside AC coaches shall be suitably regulated for this purpose," he said.
     
    Arogya Setu app is mandatory for any passenger to travel in these 200 special trains.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Domestic Flights Ops To Resume from May 25
    Domestic passenger flights would be resumed in a calibrated manner, two months after suspending them under the national lock-down norms, tweeted civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday.
     
    "Domestic civil aviation operations will recommence in a calibrated manner from Monday, 25th May 2020. All airports & air carriers are being informed to be ready for operations," he tweeted.
     
    According to the Minister, the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the passenger movement would be issued soon.
     
    The development comes a day after Mr Puri had said it was not only up to the Central government to decide on the resumption of domestic flights as states would also have to be ready to allow operations.
     
    "It is not up to @MoCA_GoI or Centre alone to decide on resuming domestic flights. In the spirit of cooperative federalism, the govt of states where these flights will take off & land should be ready to allow civil aviation operations," Mr Puri tweeted on Tuesday.
     
    Ever since the imposition of nation-wide lock-down in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak on 25th March, the passenger air service was suspended for scheduled domestic and international flights.
     
    On Sunday, after the ministry of home affairs' decision to extend the lock-down till 31st May, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had said it would inform the airlines about flights resumption in due course.
     
    In the guidelines for lock-down 4.0, the MHA said all domestic and international air travel would be prohibited, except for domestic medical services, air ambulance and security purposes.
     
    IANS on Tuesday reported that COVID-19 battered airlines industry had started bookings for the travel, starting June 1.
     
    When contacted on Wednesday, many airline executives said they would swiftly upload new ticket bookings itineraries, representing new schedule from 25th May, on online platforms.
     
    At present, some players have made cargo operations their main revenue stream. Still, fixed cost, especially the employee compensation component alone, dented their financial positions and stock prices.
     
    But the latest announcement should bring some stability to the companies business continuity plans.
     
    A second airline executive told IANS not all sectors would be offered under the new bookings itinerary and his airline would only take booking for 25% of capacity.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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