In response to the transporters and trucking associations’ plea to provide help for truck drivers in the country, the transport ministry has asked the associations to furnish details of all the trucks that are stuck across different locations on state borders and highways.
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As per claims by transporters and trucking associations, approximately 3.5 lakh trucks are stranded, carrying goods worth more than Rs. 35,000 crore, due to lack of labour to load and unload the trucks, along with the fear of contracting the virus. Lack of supplies, unavailability of food, restricted cash flow and poor sanitation have also been cited as the reasons why truckers are forced to abandon trucks with goods loaded. However, due to a lack of an authentic and accurate estimate, the transport ministry has proposed submission of details to get a clear idea.
The transport ministry has asked for details of the trucks and drivers, such as the vehicle registration number, driver’s details such as name and mobile number, location where the truck is stuck and a brief about why the vehicle is stranded. Once the data collection process is complete, the government can then hand over the issues to the concerned departments in the state and district governments.
The transport ministry has been in talks with All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), All India Transporters Welfare Association (AITWA), South India Motor Transport Association (SIMTA) and All India Confederation of Goods Vehicle Owners’ Association (AICOGOA) to relay relevant details in a particular format.
Kultaran Singh Atwal, President, AIMTC, said, “The number of such trucks will be more, if we take the ones that ply within specific states where these are registered. The Centre has been issuing guidelines and instructions, but the situation is different at the ground level.”.