Pune: The transport of fruits, vegetables and even raw materials for various industries has been affected following a 50% drop in truck movements to and from Maharashtra since the imposition of strict Covid-19 restrictions and weekend lockout at the start of the month.
“The main reason is the strict restrictions and fear of the virus, which prevents trucks from other states like Punjab, Karnataka and Rajasthan from entering Maharashtra despite the fact that the transport of goods, essential products and of raw materials does not fall under the current restrictions. There is also a shortage of drivers after many fled Maharashtra fearing the lockdown, ”Bal Malkit Singh, chairman of the central committee of the All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) told TOI on Saturday.
He said the impact was brutal, with rough estimates indicating that the daily movement of trucks to and from Maharashtra increased from 70,000 to 80,000 trucks (industrial and essential goods) earlier to 25,000 in 35,000 now.
Singh said the movement of trucks from other states like Madhya Pradesh, which bring in food grains and pulses, or those carrying mangoes from Ratnagiri or onions from Nashik to other parts of the country, has been affected. “This is causing supply chain issues, which are expected to increase in the coming days, especially in fast moving consumer goods,” he said.
Pramod Bhavsar, co-chair of AIMTC and Pune Transporters Association, told TOI: 19. ”
Bhavsar said the supply chain has already been affected as vehicles from other states have fallen by more than 50%. “Pune normally has an influx of around 10,000 substation trucks per day, which has now fallen to around 1,500 to 2,000 since the strict restrictions and the increase in Covid cases,” he said .