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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Maharashtra: Transporters against compulsory RT-PCR reports at borders

The AIMTC said the order is poised to cripple supply chain of essential commodities.

Written by Vallabh Ozarkar | Mumbai |
May 14, 2021 1:57:18 am
The state government of Thursday issued fresh guidelines extending the ongoing curbs till 7 am on June 1. (Express File/ Representational)

Transporters’ body All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) on Thursday objected to the fresh guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government for cargo carriers asking them to carry negative RT-PCR test reports issued within 48 hours of them entering the state.

The AIMTC said the order is poised to cripple supply chain of essential commodities. The organisation has written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray requesting that the guidelines be revised and cargo carries be made to undergo rapid antigen tests free of cost at the border.

The state government of Thursday issued fresh guidelines extending the ongoing curbs till 7 am on June 1.

“In the case of cargo carriers, not more than two people (driver + cleaner/helper) may be allowed to travel in the same. If these cargo carriers are originating from outside the state, these may be allowed to enter into the state with a negative RT-PCR test, which will have to be issued from up to a maximum of 48 hours before the time of entry into Maharashtra and which will be valid for seven days,” the guidelines stated.

According to the AIMTC, while RT-PCR test reports usually take at least 48 hours to arrive, vehicles carrying goods and cargo, from New Delhi for instance, take 72 hours to reach Maharashtra. Similarly, all south India-bound commercial vehicles coming from Rajasthan and Gujarat have to pass through Maharashtra.

“How will the drivers get RT-PCR tests done enroute…,” the AIMTC said in a statement.

“The drivers are not so capable that they would search for labs and get tests done. Expecting such compliances from drivers, who are by and large illiterate, is next to impossible. Waiting at borders without food, water and security is yet another challenge. The 48-hours norm is not implemented anywhere in the country,” it added.

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