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NRAI requests Delhi Government to allow round-the-clock home delivery of food

Friday, April 16, 2021, 10:02 Hrs  [IST]

On Thursday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced a weekend curfew and the closure of malls, gymnasiums and auditoriums till April 30 as part of sweeping restrictions to break the chain of the COVID infections in the city. 

 Anurag Katriar, President of NRAI, said that the decision will severly impact the hospitality industry in Delhi, which was till now trying to revive from the effect brought by the pandemic. He said, “The decision by the Delhi Government to impose a weekend lockdown and weekday night curfew is a direct result of the growing caseload and perhaps the advent of the second surge of COVID. Unfortunately, this brings us to square one; the same place we were standing aimlessly a year ago at the peak of the pandemic. Once again, our restaurants are relegated to being delivery kitchens, a sense of pessimism has replaced our short-lived optimism and we are once again back at fighting for our mere survival. Hospitality has been one of the most affected sectors due to the pandemic. We were closed for most part of last year. We opened up gradually with restricted capacities and curtailed operating hours and fought hard to regain some of our lost vibrancy. Just when things were looking up, this second wave has come as a massive dampener and has undone whatever small gains we had made."

He said, "As per the new notification, we are supposed to keep shut our primary activity, i.e., dining in, and just operate the ancillary activity home deliveries for prescribed hours. This is not a sustainable model for restaurants, pubs, bars and casual diners. Similarly, a cap of 50 people for wedding & parties renders catering segment financially untenable. This directive will only provide marginal help to the cloud kitchen segment.

 While we understand and support this decision in larger public health interest, we request the government for lending us some critical support within the delivery segment. To begin with, we request the Government to allow round-the-clock home delivery of food in lines with what Mumbai has done. 

Secondly, we urge the Government to smoothen the process of e-passes and issue clear directions to the law enforcing agencies so that our workers, who are also frontline warriors, are not subjected to any undue harassment by these law enforcing authorities. As one of the most badly bruised sectors, this is the least we expect from the Government as we struggle to ensure that the kitchen fires are kept burning in the homes of our employees."

Showing support to Delhi Govt Katriar said,  "We are with the Government of Delhi in this fight against the pandemic. We assure them that we will inspire all our members to strictly follow all stated protocols and guidelines and expect similar reciprocation from the Government. We consider ourselves as partners to the Government in this grim battle against the pandemic and expect to be treated as partners in return.”

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