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Transporters fear disruption in services due to restrictions on account of COVID surge

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New Delhi : Transporters body AIMTC on Tuesday said it fears disruptions in services due to restrictions imposed by several states, including Maharashtra and Delhi, due to surge in coronavirus cases and demanded hassle-free goods movement.

The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the umbrella body of transporters, represents about 95 lakh truckers and entities.

‘The transporters who have already experience the hassles of the previous lockdown era are a worried lot. They fear that fresh lockdown will now lead to disarray in transportation-related activities, leading to mounting fears that it will cripple the supply chain of the states, especially in Maharashtra,’ AIMTC said in a statement.

The statement comes in the wake of state governments including Maharashtra, Punjab and Delhi imposing restrictions and issuing guidelines to contain the out-break amid a surge in cases in various parts of the country.

The new restrictions include night curfews, weekend lockdowns and daytime prohibitions, to control the spread of the disease.

‘The trucks are not allowed to step inside Mumbai before 9 pm, while offices are supposed to be shut down by 8 pm. This has led to major problems in same-day dispatches and also added to the existing grievances of the transporters. The Transportation business mainly starts after 8.00 pm, when trucks are allowed in the city for loading and unloading,’ AIMTC said.

The new guidelines have put a curb on traffic timings, which is leading to major delays in transportation and expiry of e-way bills in many a cases, it said adding, this is attracting huge penalties.

The AIMTC demanded lifting of traffic timings at least for the goods vehicles as their work start at night only.

‘Further, to accommodate the uncertainty and likely circumstantial expiry of e-way bill the GST officials should go lenient on genuine cases….We demand relaxation in e-way bill rules, strict explicit directions to field officers not to stop or harass truckers at nakas,” it said.

Source: PTI

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