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Supplies caught between govt help & hindrance

After three days of logjam, movement of essential goods across India is being either helped by a few proactive state governments or hampered by the prevalence of red tape elsewhere, the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) said on Saturday.
“In some states like Karnakata, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Orissa, the proactiveness of the government, police and district administrations has enabled stranded goods vehicles to resume their journey. But in states like UP and Rajasthan, the situation has got worse,” Kultaran Singh Atwal, president of the AIMTC, told TOI.
“Some states worked overnight to ensure trucks start moving, including those carrying non-essentials. But we also have states where there is needless hassles and red tape,” he said.
With many drivers and helpers abandoning their vehicles within the first two days of the lockdown, transporters have arranged food and water for the rest in states where they have been stuck for the fourth consecutive day. The AIMTC has flagged police demanding hefty bribes from truckers at some places as another major problem. “On an average, we give truck drivers Rs 10,000-15,000 for a journey to cover food, diesel, toll and other expenses, including money paid to cops. But demands for bribes have now multiplied. Vehicles are being stopped arbitrarily, saying they are unclean and not sanitised,” said Bal Malkit Singh, chairman of the AIMTC.
At some checkpoints, the lockdown has allegedly created a new illegal business — people demanding Rs 1,000-2,000 from each truck on the pretext of carrying out mandatory fumigation of the vehicle.
In Mumbai and Delhi, prices of vegetables and other essentials have soared.

  • Source
  • TOI

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