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Home Ministry directs states to implement lockdown guidelines in letter and spirit to ensure smooth movement of inter, intra state cargo

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Home Ministry has directed states 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. 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. Clarifications to these guidelines were also issued to ensure availability of essential goods and services across the country and prevent hardships to the people.

The Ministry said, the guidelines and clarifications are not being implemented in letter and spirit in some parts of the country. In a communication to Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories, it said, vehicles carrying essential and non-essential items were being detained by police that could lead to potential shortage of commodities.

Home Ministry said, inter-state and intra-state movement of all trucks and other goods vehicles with one driver and one additional person is allowed as long as the driver is carrying a valid driver’s licence. Empty trucks and goods carriers should also be allowed to operate while on 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. The vehicles carrying essential goods should not be detained as it could lead to shortage of these goods.

The Ministry said, warehouses and cold storage 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. It further said that Railways, Airports, Seaports, and Customs authorities have already been authorized to issue passes for their staff and contractual labour.

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