Updated: April 27, 2020 8:12:24 pm
All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) on Monday said transporters are finding it difficult to bring back drivers and co-workers amid COVID-19 pandemic and this may impact supply of fruits, vegetables and essential commodities.
The apex body of transporters that represent about 95 lakh truckers and entities, demanded immediate COVID-19 insurance cover for the drivers and co-workers engaged in essential services and cargo and passenger space. “The announcement of COVID-19 insurance for the drivers and co-workers engaged in essentials services in cargo and passenger space is still pending. Our members are still finding it difficult to bring back the drivers and workers, who are reluctant to come back fearing corona infection,” AIMTC said in a statement.
It also pointed out that the E-pass system is not working properly and movement of staff apart from drivers is still a tedious task. Moreover, “local restrictions are not helping the transport fraternity as there is no fresh load, no unloading at the factories, godowns or warehouses and the laden vehicles get stuck up for days together, apart from harassment by local administration,” it said.
It appealed the government for ensuring sanitisation of vehicles at petrol pumps and toll plazas besides screening of drivers, helpers and creating adequate awareness on the highways/roads.
Stating that majority of the small operators are bankrupt, AIMTC said the financiers are exerting pressure while there is acute financial crunch making it difficult for them to work. “Unless the package is announced soon, the coming days will be very difficult especially for the small operators,” it said and demanded suspension of toll and reduction in diesel prices.
“The members proving transport services at the port said that there is no unloading at ports like Mundra, Kandla, JNPT and the containers have piled up. As the industries are not opened there is no inland movement as they do not want to increase their inventory or have adequate finance to pay up import duties,” AIMTC said.
It added that there are screening process at inter-state border including Barobhisha Border (Bengal – Assam Border) and “there are long queues up to 6-7 kilometres and the drivers and crew remain stranded without food and water,” and sought government intervention.
Assuring all support to the government during these critical times, AIMTC said the government should extend a helping hand to more than 20 crore people dependent on this sector to contain the huge social and economic cost arising out the present scenario.
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