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Reconsider rule of negative Covid report for drivers: Transporters body to Maharashtra govt

Transporters have written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asking to reconsider the guidelines of a compulsory negative RT-PCR report for drivers travelling from outside the state
By Aroosa Ahmed, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON MAY 14, 2021 12:47 AM IST

Transporters have written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asking to reconsider the guidelines of a compulsory negative RT-PCR report for drivers travelling from outside the state.

Citing the guideline as impractical, the body has stated that the compulsion of negative RT-PCR test would lead to delay in transport of essential commodities including oxygen concentrators, medicines, oxygen tankers and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) goods.

The Maharashtra government under its BreakTheChain guidelines have stated that cargo carriers originating from outside the state will be allowed only after they produce a negative RT-PCR test, which is issued up to a maximum of 48 hours.

“In the case of cargo carriers, not more than two people (driver + cleaner/ helper) may be allowed to travel in the same. If these cargo carriers are originating from outside the state, these may be allowed to enter into the state with a negative RT-PCR test, which will have to be issued from up to a maximum of 48 hours before the time of entry into Maharashtra and which will be valid for 7 days.” mentions the guidelines.

All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has stated that the RT-PCR report takes 48 hours and cargo between Delhi takes 72 hours to reach Maharashtra.

“The provision must be revisited and rectified in all practicality. It would have been prudent if a rapid antigen facility is created at border check-posts free of cost. It must also be ensured that waiting time at the border check-posts is not more than two-three hours. Adequate facilities for food and water are provided for drivers at the borders and they are given hospitable treatment by the officials.” said Bal Malkit Singh, chairman, AIMTC.

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