Come October, use app to order food, veggies from street vendors  

By Ashwini M Sripad| Express News Service | Published: 10th September 2018 10:41 PM

BENGALURU : Starting next month, you will be able to order chaats to your doorstep  from your favourite neighbourhood street vendor using an online ordering system, which will be available on a mobile app for users’ convenience.The Labour Department has got this app developed by the Karnataka State Electronics Development Corporation Limited (KEONICS) to introduce a first-of-its-kind system which seeks to buttress street vendors’ businesses in face of reputed online food ordering companies like Swiggy clinching the market.

The app will offer a unique way to order food items like chaats, churmuri, golgappa, cut fruits, bajji-bondas and even vegetables/fruits sold on roadside carts. The purpose of this app is to get more customers for roadside vendors and also to help senior citizens or the physically-challenged, who might otherwise find it difficult to buy from roadside vendors.There are more than 25,000 street vendors across Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) limits and the officials have details of these vendors based on zones and wards.

Amlan Aditya Biswas, secretary, Labour Department, told CE that the app is being developed, and once completed, they will train vendors batch-wise.The street vendors will be given a smart card with data like their names, products, mobile numbers and location details. The details will be cross-linked with their Aadhaar numbers.

Explaining how the app will work, Biswas said it was a Geographic Information System-enabled app. “Once it is downloaded, people can select the vendors they want to purchase from. For instance, if they are looking for golgappas, they can select the nearest golgappa vendors. This also means that the customer will get multiple options, they can opt for the nearest one as per their convenience.  Once selected, an SMS will go the vendor. The customer will get to see the phone number of the vendor and he/she can call them.”

The customer will then negotiate a delivery charge. “It will be between the customer and vendor,” he said, adding, “It is not just food. People, especially senior citizens, can also order vegetables to their doorstep without stepping out of their homes.” When asked who will deliver the items, Biswas said the vendor has to make arrangements.

Vinay Sreenivasa, member of Federation of Bengaluru District Street Vendors’ Associations, said street vendors do not have a dearth of business. As they are on the street, they attract customers. The mobile app might help customers and vendors to some extent. “But at the same time, there is a threat. What if they are vacated from the roadside by officials, who question why they need to be by the roadside when they are doing home delivery services?” he questions.

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