Anantapur: Covid Second wave hits transport sector hard

Trucks stranded in Penukonda due to lockdown imposed in Bengaluru

Trucks stranded in Penukonda due to lockdown imposed in Bengaluru


  • Even before the sector could come out of clutches of the first wave, it received a severe blow again with fast spreading of cases in second wave across the nation
  • Many vehicles are stranded on the outskirts of Bengaluru due to local restrictions imposed by the Karnataka government
  • About 3.50 lakh labourers depend on the sector for their livelihood

Anantapur: The second wave of coronavirus has severely hit transport sector once again which has its bearing on the state and national economy. Even before it could recover from the losses incurred during the first wave of virus, it was hit hard by the second wave. Though there is no national lockdown announced by the Centre, the state governments are using their local discretionary powers to impose lockdowns and restrictions on the movement of vehicles. Presently the sector is facing the brunt of regional lockdowns embarked by the state governments including Karnataka and Maharashtra states etc.

On one hand, the migrant labour, who returned to their native villages due to coronavirus, also contributed to stranding of transporting goods due to non-availability of migrant labour who are the lifeline of goods loading and unloading operations. There are about 40,000 lorries owned by the district operators and nearly 10,000 mini-lorries.

About 3.50 lakh labourers are dependent on the transport sector for their livelihood. Hindupur, in view of its proximity to Bengaluru city, had emerged as a transport hub with thousands of lorries, small and medium operating from Hindupur town to Bengaluru, parts of Karnataka and even Maharashtra. Hindupur, Tadipatri, Rayadurgam and Penukonda being industrial hubs have hundreds of transport and freight vehicles stationed and in operation on a daily basis.

Rajendra Yadav, a transport operator from Chandigarh, told The Hans India that the Centre should evolve a national policy and leave transport operators to the mercy of local state authorities and the police. Deputy Transport Commissioner Siva Prasad, however, clarified that officially there are no curbs on movement of vehicles and there are no government directions to the department in this regard. However, vehicles are being stranded outside Bengaluru due to lockdown in Karnataka state.

Absence of sufficient labour to load and unload goods and regional lockdowns are paralysing goods movement, resulting in huge economic losses as many transport operators are unable to balance their finances due to little cash flow and increasing debts and loan payment obligations. Transport lorries bound to Chennai, Mumbai and Raipur were stranded at intermittent towns en route their destinations. Police in Mumbai and Goa are detaining transport operators in the name of vehicle checking.

Transport operator Ajit Singh told The Hans India that they have been stranded on the outskirts of Bengaluru city after taking off from Penukonda due to lockdown imposed in the state by Karnataka government. Due to night curfew imposed in Andhra Pradesh too police are not allowing the lorries to move after 7pm. While the Prime Minister assured that transport will not be stopped anywhere by the government, but state governments are not permitting movement of vehicles within the state highways.

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