Govt agrees to priority vaccination demand for drivers operating oxygen tankers: AIMTC

PTI | | Updated on: May 22, 2021

The first truck loaded with medical-grade oxygen comes out of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi.

The government is looking at a proposal to provide financial incentives to oxygen tanker drivers, says transporters’ body

Apex transporters’ body All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) has said that the Centre has agreed to its demand of priority vaccination for drivers operating tankers with liquid medical oxygen amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AIMTC had earlier this month during a meeting with senior officials of the Commerce and Industry Ministry had sought vaccination of drivers of oxygen tankers on a priority basis, it said.

“The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has considered the AIMTC demand and urged all State Transport Secretaries to carry out ‘special vaccination drive’ for liquid oxygen tanker drivers,” AIMTC Core Committee Chairman Bal Malkit Singh said in a statement on Saturday.

The Ministry has also asked the States to give priority in admission and treatment to such drivers in hospitals, if they get infected with Covid-19, the statement said.

Financial incentive for drivers?

The demand for incentives for drivers of oxygen tankers is also under consideration, it said, adding “the government is contemplating a proposal to give financial incentive of around ₹15,000 to each oxygen tanker driver for their service.”

“But no decision has been taken yet (on the issue),” the AIMTC said.

The transporters' body has also suggested to the government to give priority to drivers of commercial vehicles engaged in transportation of essential supplies, including pharmaceuticals, medical aids and other necessary items, to ensure there is no shortage of these items in the market, said the statement.

Published on May 22, 2021
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