Even after lockdown restrictions have been eased by the government for the transportation of goods, transporters in Mumbai are still facing a multitude of problems. The supply of goods has slowed down considerably due to migrant workers moving back to their homes and villages. Along with that, the transport and trader bodies have appealed to the government to provide them with certain relief packages to help them overcome their losses, but have not met with a positive response.
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Owing to the above situations, transporters have announced their decision to go on a strike as soon as the lockdown ends. Demanding that their operations be considered as essential, the transporters bodies have asked the government to provide financial relief packages, along with toll concessions and extension on the validity of vehicle insurances and licences.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Finance Minister and the Transport Minister, the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said, “The transport sector, which directly and indirectly supports 20 crore people in the country, is today on ventilator and needs urgent support to survive. There is no revenue generation, no finance inflow with payments from parties being restrained. Nearly 85 per cent of operators are small enterprises who are unable to sustain the business any longer.”
Commenting on the woes of the transporters, the Association of Maharashtra Heavy Vehicles and Container Operators in Mumbai said that they do not plan on resuming their operations post the lockdown. As per a member of the association, “During the lockdown period, we have reached out to the government to convey our difficulties. Instead of making things easier for us, they have just ignored our demands. Something as simple as exempting toll at the nakas was only implemented briefly before it was reinstated aggressively.”