Centre asks state govts to enable seamless movement of supplies and workers

The Coronavirus pandemic scare has taken the world by storm, leading to many restrictions being imposed, especially on the transportation sector. While movement of essential goods and supplies is exempted from the said restrictions, one of the major problems being faced is shortage of personnel and helpers to take the wheel.

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The shortage has stemmed from the fear of contracting the virus, and problems with the law enforcement on highways and checkpoints. So in order to tackle this issue, the Centre has asked all state governments to ensure that seamless movement of goods takes place inter and intra-state and that truck drivers, helpers and labourers should reach their duty locations without any hassle.

Consumer Affairs Secretary Pawan Kumar Agarwal, in a letter to all state chief secretaries, has asked state governments to designate a nodal officer who will coordinate with state police to ensure hassle free movement of supplies.

According to the secretary, “Movement of one driver and one additional person from their place of residence to the truck may kindly be facilitated by the local authorities”. He has laid down directives, stating that the nodal officer must issue an authorisation letter to all organisations that are dealing with the supply of essential items in the country. Along with that, to ensure that the movement of empty trucks is not hindered, the truck driver must carry invoice or way-bill for delivery or pick up of cargo.

He further said, “Local administration may be advised to facilitate in ensuring availability of labour in factories, warehouses and transportation and distribution operations of essential food and groceries by appealing to house owners, societies and villages to allow workers to go for work”.

In the letter, he also stated that the Consumer Affairs Ministry has developed an e-pass system solution, taking help of the E-Gov Foundation. This solution had been developed in order to keep a check on the number of passes that have been issued by all authorised organisations. He added, “The state government may use this e-pass solution for the issue of passes.”.
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