The past few days saw certain relaxation being implemented by the Centre on movement of trucks during the lockdown period. However, as per reports, only 20% of the total number of trucks in India are actually actively moving on national highways. These trucks are responsible for supplying essential items throughout the country.
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Truckers in India have been facing a multitude of problems on the road, even through the government has released mandates to make their movement easier. Despite the presence of guidelines issued by the Home Ministry, trucks are still unable to seamlessly move inter-state.
From being unceremoniously stopped at checkpoints on national highways to being accosted by local authorities, truck drivers have continuously been complaining that government’s guidelines are not being implemented thoroughly.
While ferrying of essential items is continuing from March 29 and transportation of all goods has been allowed from April 20, only 20% of the 76 lakh trucks in the country are on roads at present.
According to Navin Kumar Gupta, General Secretary, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), there may be a shortage of truckers due to the fact that many of them were left stranded on highways and checkpoints ever since the nationwide lockdown came into force.
Gupta said, “They are now eager to return to their homes. Loaded trucks are parked in godowns, but we don’t have workers for unloading the goods. Though the Home Ministry has given necessary instructions, truck owners are under pressures from local authorities,”.
Adding on to the miseries of truck drivers in the country is the fact that dhabas and restaurants on highways have not been functioning since the lockdown, causing trouble due to lack of food and lodging for the drivers.