Home Ministry asks states, union territories to ensure smooth movement of trucks during lockdown

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New Delhi, (ANI): Ministry of Home Affairs has directed Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories to implement lockdown guidelines in letter and spirit and also to ensure smooth movement of inter and intra-state cargo, trucks, workers and functioning of warehouse and cold storages, Punya Salila Srivastava, Joint Secretary, MHA said on Monday.

“MHA has written a letter to Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories to implement lockdown guidelines in letter and spirit to ensure smooth movement of inter and intra-state cargo, trucks, workers and functioning of warehouse and cold storages. Vehicles carrying essential and non-essential items should be permitted to avoid the shortage of commodities,” Srivastava said while addressing media here. She said that the guidelines and clarifications are not being implemented in letter and spirit in some parts of the country.

“The Ministry had issued consolidated guidelines on lockdown measures to be taken by all Central Ministries and Departments, States and Union Territories for containment of COVID-19. Empty trucks and goods carriers should also be allowed to operate while on the way to pick up goods or returning after completing a delivery. Local authorities should actively facilitate the movement of truck drivers and cleaners from their place of residence to location of their trucks,” she said.

“Local authorities should cooperate with people and also ensure their movements who are in essential services or exempted from lockdown provisions,” she added
She said that in the letter it is written that warehouses and cold storages should be allowed to freely function with allowance for to and fro movement of trucks and without regard to the nature of the goods, whether essential or otherwise. “Warehouses of companies should also be allowed to operate. Railways, Airports, Seaports, and Customs authorities have already been authorized to issue passes for their staff and contractual labour,” she added.

She further said that States are working continuously to enforce lockdown measures. Retired personnel, NSS (National Service Scheme), NCC cadets, and officials of other departments too are assisting police in enforcing lockdown measures. The 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month to contain the spread of novel coronavirus will end on April 14.

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