In what comes as a relief for transporters, the Maharashtra government has repealed the earlier guidelines which necessitated that cargo carriers should have a negative RT-PCR report, amid the alarming second wave situation in the country.
The transportation sector had expressed strong opposition to the earlier guidelines, claiming that it will lead to lockjams, delays and supply chain bottlenecks ahead.
As per the earlier guidelines issued by the Maharashtra government, cargo carriers were mandated to have a negative RT-PCR report issued from up to a maximum of 48 hours before the time of entry into Maharashtra.
This has now been replaced by the new guidelines, dated 15th May, which state that cargo carriers carrying not more than two people ( three people in special cases) will be allowed to travel. For cargo carriers from outside the state, temperature, symptoms of the person apart from their status on Aarogya Setu will be checked first and then let in.
“In the case of cargo carriers, not more than two people(one driver+ cleaner/helper) generally or in specific cases of long distance and emergency, cargo carriers not more than three people (2 drivers + helper/ cleaners) may be allowed to travel in the same. If these cargo carriers are originating from outside the state, these may be allowed inside only after checking the temperature and any other symptoms as well as status of each person on Aarogya Setu app”, the notification stated.
“If any one is found to display any of the symptoms or temperature or if the Aarogya Setu for any of the persons is “not safe” then all the persons should be directed to the nearest Covid Care Centre for further investigation”, the notification added.
The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), an apex body of transporters, has welcomed this decision whole-heartedly.
Chirag Katira, General Secretary, AIMTC apprises us of the recent development.
Mr Katira underlines how AIMTC has taken efforts to reverse the guidelines and bring to the government’s notice the negative impact it would have had on the transporters.
“As of now, no stopping of vehicles have been reported and the traffic is moving freely. So far, the authorities have conducted random inspections on vehicles, to check the temperature and symptoms of the drivers, which have not led to any delays or lockjams”.
It may be noted that the AIMTC had earlier expressed its objection to the guidelines while helping to shed light on how it will be impractical and will lead to lockjams on the road, thereby disrupting the supply chain.