Truck Drivers Facing Hardship Due to Closure of Roadside Eateries in Karnataka

Bengaluru: The 21 days nationwide lockdown, which is considered to be the world’s biggest lockdown, has hampered the transportation of goods in India and has brought it to a near standstill, even though the central government has relieved this sector from the constraint to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Even though the truck drivers are doing best to keep essential items moving along the supply chain, many of them are facing hardship due to the closure of the roadside eateries along the highway. Also, the puncture shop, spare part shops, and repair shops on the highway have also closed down, leaving the drivers to battle the nightmare of what to do if their truck breaks down or there is a flat tire.

The Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners and Agent Association President, Mr. GR Shanmugappa has issued a statement in which he has said that many of the drivers are facing many hardships due to the absence of the roadside eateries. Also, they have requested the Karnataka State Government to allow the dhabas to function at every 50 km, but no positive action has taken place so far. Even the trucks are being unnecessarily being stopped at the borders by the officials of the other state.

Mr. Channa Reddy, president of Karnataka Lorry Owner’s Association, has stated that the accidents on the highway have reduced due to the lockdown. So the requirement for repairs has reduced. But many of the interstate drivers are struggling due to the closure of the roadside eateries.

Another major problem the truck drivers are facing is loading and unloading because of a shortage of laborers at the industrial outpost and warehouses. The movement of trucks are easing at the ports after efforts were taken to restore the operation and maintain critical cargo shipment, but the drivers are still facing hardship due to the closure of the eateries.

The limited freight activities have dragged the demand of the diesel to an all-time low, also due to the complete lockdown has halted the industrial activities, thereby resulting in a sharp fall of the freight movement.