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    Govt tells states to let stranded trucks pass; fresh movement only for essential item carriers

    Govt tells states to let stranded trucks pass; fresh movement only for essential item carriers

    Govt tells states to let stranded trucks pass; fresh movement only for essential item carriers
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    By Alisha Sachdev   IST (Updated)

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    The Ministry of Home affairs- constituted committee, called the logistics and supplies committee, has issued instructions asking that goods carriers stranded at check-posts be granted one-time clearance to pass, and travel to their destination.

    The Prime Minister's call for a 21-day nationwide lockdown on March 24, with only four hours' notice caught transporters and drivers off-guard, as a few lakh  trucks, including those carrying essential items, continue to be stranded at check-points.
    The Ministry of Home affairs- constituted committee, called the logistics and supplies committee, has issued instructions asking that goods carriers stranded at check-posts be granted one-time clearance to pass, and travel to their destination.
    The committee is headed by civil aviation secretary Pradeep Singh Kharola, and the convenor of the committee is Pharma Secy Dr PD Vaghela, according to sources.
    This is the committee which will take decisions on movements of goods and supplies during the lockdown at the apex level.
    Sources say in a video-conference meet, the committee decided that trucks carrying essential commodities will have to move and empty trucks will have to return, and the Ministry of Home Affairs ordered state administrations to clear the logjam late last night.
    The committee has decided that all fresh movement, however, should only be for essential commodities, and the larger supply chain must be maintained.
    But transporters and logistics companies complain say that the instructions have still not percolated to the highway police on ground, who continue to stop trucks.
    The committee has also said that students, migrants and labourers should stay put where they are, and it will be the responsibility of the district administration to take care of them.
    They added that home delivery of medicines and provisions should be allowed and encouraged. In many states, local authorities have been discouraging movement of delivery personnel carrying medicines and food supplies, leading app operators like Flipkart and BigBasket to stop servicing those areas.
    The instructions also call for e-commerce to be allowed, and ports to remain open.
    The government has ordered a 21-day lockdown across the country as it tries to contain the spread of coronavirus infection
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