Truckers seek Covid screening facilities for drivers

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NEW DELHI: Transporters and truckers organisations have suggested the transport ministry create thermal screening facilities to detect Covid-19 for drivers at loading and unloading points and at every 200 km on highways.

In a video conference with transport ministry officials and MoS, General V K Singh on Friday, they have suggested the need to encourage drivers to report to work through media.

Representatives from All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) and two other entities AITWA and SIMTA participated in the interaction.

The AIMTC has also sought a relief package including suspension of toll collection on highways till October. They claimed over 90% trucks are lying idle and over four lakh truckers with goods are still stranded.

The truckers entities claimed that they they have been receiving numerous distress calls from across the nation from drivers stuck during the lockdown, seeking help.

“We have suggested that big corporate linked to the transport sector can come together with government and us to create facilities for testing of drivers, providing sanitising facilities and to ensure social distancing is maintained,” said AIMTC president Kultaran Singh Atwal.

AIMTC has claimed that the average daily loss to truckers is estimated at about Rs 2,200 crore. “We have sought immediate rescue and relief package from government including demand of average Rs 15,000 per month for the truck and bus drivers to sustain their families on basis of documents like driving licences and Aadhaar card,” Atwal said.

Truckers entities also cited how they are staring at drivers shortage due to strict lockdown in Mewat region of Haryana. They told ministry officials that nearly one lakh truck drivers come from this region.

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