Lives at risk as delivery agents race against time to avoid penalties

Noida: Two delivery agents were killed in separate accidents while they were on duty on Holi. Both the deceased were hit by cars as they raced against the clock to avoid penalties and deliver the orders in time.

According to the police, one of the deceased, identified as Bunty worked as a delivery boy in Noida. He was on his way to deliver an order when an unidentified car driver hit his scooty in Sector-112 of Noida on March 8.

He was admitted to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries during treatment.

In the second incident, Deepak, who worked as a delivery agent in Big Basket, met with an accident while he was on his way to deliver an order near Lotus Boulevard society here, at around 3 p.m. on the same day.

Deepak was hit by a car and was admitted to a government hospital in Nithari where he passed away during treatment.

Sector-39 police station in-charge Ajay Chehar, said that the police sent his body for postmortem and arrested the car driver.

The increase in such accidents points towards the tough competition in the field and the increasing pressure faced by the agents to deliver the orders on time.

Many Apps have fixed time durations for the delivery agents, who, in the course of adhering to it, risk their lives on the roads.

Police officials said that such accidents have increased due to the pressure faced by the agents to deliver the order within the stipulated time limit. Pressurised by the companies, the agents resort to violating traffic rules and over-speeding to achieve the target.

Police officials said that the extra weight that the agents carry also becomes a factor leading to accidents as their vehicles lose balance.

Bal Govind Mishra, who works as a delivery partner in a food App based company, said that he picked up an order from a restaurant on March 15, after which he was informed of a health emergency at his home.

Mishra said that he frantically reached his home and dialled the customer care service of the company, asking them to assign the delivery to another agent, which was denied.

He alleged that he was warned of being fined if he failed to deliver the order. Upon refusal, the company imposed a fine of double the amount of money involved.

He stated that he has appealed in the Labour Court regarding the matter.

Talking to IANS, Mishra said that the company earns around Rs 500 if a delivery agent logs in for 10 hours, out of which the latter is paid Rs 200.

He added that when the log-in time is of 15-16 hours, the company earns around Rs 750 and pays Rs 350 to the agent.

He said that many a times restaurant workers trick the agents by falsely sending a notification of the order being ready on the food delivery App, but when an agent reaches there, they end up waiting for long intervals.

He said that only a notice is issued by the App to the concerned restaurant in this regard.

Mishra added that in the current scenario, delivery agents’ work carries great pressure and gets really difficult and tiring.

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