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Coronavirus pandemic: Transporters fear shortage of truck drivers

Supply of essential goods could take a hit if truckers flock to their villages

April 23, 2020 / 08:01 PM IST
Representative image.

Representative image.

Transporters fear that the population of truck drivers could reduce drastically once the nation-wide lockdown is lifted because many are eager to return to their home town, reported Times of India. A majority of these truck drivers were on highways when Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the lockdown on March 22.

"Some have already gone back to their villages and others are stranded on highways, waiting for the lockdown to be lifted so they can go back home," said Abhishek Gupta of Bombay Goods Transport Association. Transporters have appealed to truck drives to continue work so that the supply of essential goods remains unaffected.

Bal Malkit Singh of the All India Motor Transport Congress, a national body of transporters also said that there is a 'shortage' of truck drivers. "Whoever is available, has to be paid more to ply trucks," he said.

The All India Motor Transport Congress, which represents nearly 90 lakh truck owners, had earlier written to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to say that essential services should also be provided to these truckers – who could neither reach their place of residence or native place due to the lockdown that was imposed on March 24.

Meanwhile, All India Transporters Welfare Association is encouraging drivers to return to work.

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Following a rapid rise in the coronavirus cases and the countrywide lockdown, demand for all staples and essentials has hit the supply chain snag and manufacturers of various goods are scrambling to keep pace.
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