Maharashtra government allows safe passage for truck drivers post-Shashi Tharoor’s Twitter appeal

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 26, 2020

The Maharashtra government on Wednesday allowed safe passage for truck drivers from across India stranded on state borders.

The Chief Minister’s office of Maharashtra was alerted belonging to different parts of the country being stranded in Maharashtra after the centre declared a nationwide 21-day lockdown on Tuesday owing to the coronavirus pandemic in the country.

Tharoor had expressed his concern asking for the CMO’s help in allowing safe passage to these drivers, helping them reach their destination.

“Dear @CMOMaharashtra a large number of Kerala truck drivers returning home in empty lorries after delivering fruits&vegetables in Gujarat are held up in Bhiwandi w/out food, water or toilet facilities. Could Maharashtra Govt kindly instruct police to allow them to go to Kerala?” Tharoor wrote on the micro-blogging platform.

“Their conditions are poor &police are behaving inhumanely. Please help. The four hours from PM’s speech to #lockdownindia were not enough for trucks to drive back from Gujarat to Kerala! Please help @AshokChavanINC @milinddeora @AUThackeray,” he further tweeted.

The Maharashtra government soon responded, allowing the drivers to pass through the borders. Politician Aaditya Thackeray had informed Tharoor that the truck drivers had been allowed to leave.

“@ShashiTharoor ji the Kerala truck drivers have been given a safe passage before the lockdown yesterday,” Thackeray tweeted after personally calling to update him.

“Thanks, Aditya @AUTHackeray for calling to inform me the truckers were allowed to leave Maharashtra after due checks & controls. Appreciate the responsiveness & courtesy of yourself & @CMOMaharashtra,” Tharoor had responded.

Truck drivers have been stranded across the country after the announcement of the lockdown. The All India Motor Transport Congress, the apex body of the road transport sector had also urged the government to aid the drivers in reaching their respective destinations safely according to previous reports.

“Drivers and helpers are stranded on highways without food and water. They are facing acute anxiety and hardship. Urgent directions are required from the Centre to States to allow trucks to reach their destination and to help the drivers,” said Kultaran Singh Atwal, President of All India Motor Transport Congress.

“We are getting distress calls from across the country about our truckers and drivers getting stranded on the highways,” Atwal had said in a letter to PM Modi. “Please ensure food and water at tolls, check-posts to them,” he urged the Centre as per the report.

Published on March 26, 2020

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