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Truck Drivers Demand Relief Package as COVID-19 Lockdown Leaves Them in a Limbo

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Image for Representation.

Image for Representation.

The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown to comprise its unfold have led to the idling of greater than 90 per cent of about one crore truckers.

  • PTI New Delhi
  • Last Updated: April 11, 2020, 1:01 PM IST

With the livelihood of about 1 crore truckers in peril as a result of lockdown, transporters on Friday urged the federal government for a direct reduction package deal for the transport sector.

The outbreak of coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown to comprise its unfold have led to the idling of greater than 90 per cent of about one crore truckers.

More than four lakh truckers with items beneath non-essential classes are nonetheless stranded throughout India whereas items value about Rs 40,000 crore are mendacity in automobiles within the absence of unloading mechanism in addition to reluctance on a part of godowns, house owners and others, All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC)President Kultaran Singh Atwal stated.

Atwal stated the scenario is so grim that AIMTC has written to the federal government, in search of instant rescue and reduction package deal because the transport sector has already gone on “ventilator” and as a lot as 20 crore individuals are straight or not directly depending on it for livelihood.

AIMTC is the apex physique of transporters representing about 93 lakh truckers apart from numerous transport entities.

Naveen Gupta, Secretary-General of AIMTC stated he was flooded with misery calls from throughout the nation from drivers caught through the lockdown, in search of assist.

In just a few such recordings with PTI, truckers are heard pleading for assist saying they’ve been left with nothing to eat. One driver from Himachal Pradesh is heard saying “I will die of cold and hunger.

In a few other recordings, drivers are heard saying the godown owner or concerned transporter is not ready for unloading of goods.

Gupta said the average daily loss suffered by truckers is estimated at about Rs 2,200 crore and the situation is going to be alarming.

Atwal said there are many instances where the truckers have abandoned the goods and left in a panic.

“We have requested instant rescue and reduction package deal from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman which incorporates the demand of common Rs 15,000 per 30 days for the drivers of vans and buses to maintain their households on foundation of paperwork like driving licences and Aadhar, “Gupta said.

Besides, AIMTC, which has prepared a White Paper and submitted it to the government, has demanded compulsory insurance for drivers as they are the backbones of the supply chain, he said.

“The strategic significance of the street transport sector can’t be under-estimated, which is abundantly demonstrated now whereas sustaining the continuity of the availability chain and making certain that communities have entry to meals, medical care and different important commodities. This sector is offering yeoman providers akin to police, docs and paramedics,” the White Paper said.

The road transport sector of India is one of the critical sectors of the economy and highly unorganized and marginalized, the Paper said adding “it’s supposedly the ‘spine of the financial system’ and the ‘lifeline … offering important providers to the frequent man’- 365 X 24 X 7. It is the best employment generator.”

The paper said the health of the sector, which is pinned as the barometer of the economy, has in fact “deteriorated amid lockdown and in essence, it’s on ventilator and is in dire want of oxygen to outlive. All the transport segments, each cargo and passenger, are beneath Acute Financial Stress as a result of Coronavirus disaster.”

The wheels have stopped and so there isn’t a income era, no monetary inflows as funds from events are restrained and current finance with the small operators in addition to that of huge operators is depleting quick, it added.

It demanded instant intervention together with the inclusion of street transport into the National Transport Policy, a minimal Cost-Based Freight (CBF) assist coverage and social safety for the individuals engaged within the provide chain together with rivers, helpers, loaders, unloaders and different gamers of the availability chain beneath ESIC, Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Jyoti Bima Yojna or Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Bima Yojna.

The different calls for included availability of sentimental loans with out Collateral and Credit Facility to transporters apart from waiver of NH / State / Municipal Tolls until October 31, 2020, and deferments of EMIs.

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