Allow trucks to move: Centre tells states

Updated: Apr 14, 2020, 07:43 IST | Dharmendra Jore | Mumbai

Truck operators were facing issues at state borders over permissions, hampering supply of essentials

A truck stopped by cops at Kumbharwada junction in South Mumbai. Pic/Bipin Kokate
A truck stopped by cops at Kumbharwada junction in South Mumbai. Pic/Bipin Kokate

The Union government has come to the rescue of transporters who have not been able to move cargo because of the restrictions imposed by states. Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla recently wrote to all chief secretaries pointing out mismanagement of truck movement in their respective states and advised correction.

The complaints of irregular supplies have increased manifold in the recent past owing to trucks being detained in some parts of the country. Highways have been packed with trucks with valuable cargo and with stranded staff who have nowhere to go and eat.

The national transport association had made a complaint to the Centre in this regard. However, authorities too had reasons to check the trucks since some were found carrying people.

Bhalla has now asked CSs to prevent such situations to avoid a shortage of essential items. "Workers required for operations of manufacturing units are not being given adequate passes for movement. Besides, passes or authority letters of free movement of trucks and workers, issued by one state, are not being respected by officials of other states," said his letter.

Now the ministry has directed states to ensure free movement of trucks carrying essential and non-essential items as long as the driver is carrying a bonafide driving licence and has only one assistant on board during the travel. "Moreover, empty trucks returning after unloading goods should not be stopped. Workers who are on their way to join manufacturing units should be allowed to move," said Bhalla, adding that all warehouses and cold storages across the country should be allowed to operate freely.

Supplies to resume
"These stipulations will apply to all areas, other than areas requiring containment, quarantine and surveillance measures as per the guidelines of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare," said Bhalla.

Amarjit Singh Manhas, vice-president of Mumbai Congress who is also associated with transport activism, welcomed the decision. "I had written to several authorities to correct the flaw in enforcement which not only caused huge losses to transporters but also inconvenienced crisis-affected people. Let's hope all kinds of supplies resume now," he said.

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