The All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC), the apex body of truckers representing around 93 lakh truckers, has been seeking government intervention for its drivers stranded at various places during the nationwide coronavirus lockdown.
“NHAI is making all efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. The highways authority has made arrangements for food and water at toll plazas across the country for the drivers of goods carriers as the restaurants and eateries along highways are temporarily closed following the 21-day nationwide lockdown,” it said in a statement.
This arrangement has been made to ensure that they are looked after well as they carry goods and services for people across the country.
“NHAI believes that truck drivers are truly the lifeline of our country. It is imperative that transportation of goods happens freely on the highways for the welfare of society at large. In the current circumstances, when the truck drivers are executing their duties with utmost sincerity, the NHAI acknowledges their efforts and is committed to extend support to them in every possible way,” the statement said.
The NHAI said it believed it is the responsibility of each and every individual/entity to help each other in such troubled times to fight against coronavirus.
Earlier, Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari had asked the NHAI to ensure food, water and support for stranded workers in the wake of the lockdown.
It has also cleared bills worth Rs 25,000 crore owed to contractors in March 2020. The body expedited the process in the last one week after construction activity came to a grinding halt due to the national lockdown.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)