Transporters speak: “Will stop operating if guidelines are not followed”

In a letter written to transport minister Nitin Gadkari, All India Transporters’ Welfare Association, one of the congregating bodies of transporters in the country, has urged the minister to ensure that the guidelines pertaining to movement of trucks is followed by all local authorities in the country, else the members of the association may have to suspend their operations during the lockdown period.

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The association shed light on the fact that even after certain relaxations being imposed in states, with the government partially lifting restrictions during the lockdown since April 20, the authorities are yet to comply with the same. Commenting on the fact that movement for truck drivers and cargo is still a big issue being faced by the transportation industry, Mahendra Arya, President, AITWA, was quoted in the letter as saying, “The supply chain can never become live in the present state of affairs.”.

Scared of being subjected to the harassment and unnecessary stoppages, many truck drivers and helpers are shirking away from reporting to their duties, which is why freight movement has almost come to a standstill. The association also pointed out that if the current scenario continues, the country may face a shortage of essential items in times to come due to hindered movement. Along with that, the association also brought forth the fact that states were interpreting and implementing the relaxation guidelines issued in their own way. This has led to a fragmented manner of following of protocols, causing more problems to trucks and drivers moving inter-state.

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