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COVID-19: Cabinet Secretary instructs states to clear cargo logjam

Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba Thursday instructed top state bureaucrats that the hundreds of trucks stranded at check posts across the country should be allowed to reach their destinations, said a person close to the development.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 26, 2020, 08.22 PM IST
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MUMBAI: Cabinet secretary Rajiv Gauba Thursday instructed top state bureaucrats that the hundreds of trucks stranded at check posts across the country should be allowed to reach their destinations, said a person close to the development.

These will include non-essential goods too, he said.

Gauba gave the instructions in a video conference meeting in the afternoon. Several state governments proactively sent out notifications relaying them. One such from the West Bengal state government was reviewed by ET.

The acute logjam over the last few days has led to closure of warehouses and delivery centers and have led several logistics companies to suspend operations for now. ET reported the same on Thursday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday declared a country-wide 21 day lockdown to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. While the Centre exempted carriage of essential goods from the resultant transport ban, police personnel across the country stopped vehicles irrespective of the kind of goods they were carrying. Many vehicles carrying foodstuff, medicines and medical equipment were held up.

In Thursday’s meeting, Gauba said that once the logjam is cleared, all fresh movement should be only of essential commodities and a larger supply chain should be maintained, said a person close to the development.

He also said students and migrant labourers should stay put where they were and it was the responsibility of the district administration to take care of them. Several videos showing helpless migrant workers surfaced on the social media after the lockdown announcement.

Gauba said that home delivery of medicines and provisions should be allowed and encouraged and ecommerce should be allowed and facilitated.
He said ports should be kept open.
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)
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