Asserting that ministry guidelines on countrywide lockdown should be followed in "letter and spirit", the Union home ministry has written to all state governments to ensure smooth movement of trucks and goods carriers irrespective of essential or non-essential cargo carried by them.
Addressing a press conference on measures taken during 21-days lockdown imposed from March 25 to contain the spread of Covid-19, MHA joint secretary Punya Salila Srivastva said the situation of essential goods and services is under control.
To strengthen this situation, the home ministry has written to state governments that both inter-state and intra-state movement of trucks and goods carriers should be allowed during the 21-day countrywide lockdown announced by the central government irrespective of the cargo being essential or non-essential.
The empty trucks and goods carriers should also be allowed as they may be going to pick the cargo or coming post delivery of the consignment, she said.
"No permit or pass is needed by the trucks and goods carriers for the transportation of cargo," she said.
The official said in a truck, a driver and a cleaner are allowed and district authorities should actively help them to commute from their homes to the location of their trucks.
The ministry has written that states and UTs must quickly issue passes for workers employed in organisations and companies exempted from the lockdown restrictions, she said.
"Attention must be paid that workers in manufacturing units located in bordering areas of states and UTs should not face any problem," she said.
Officers of railways, airports, sea ports and customs have been empowered to issue passes to allow movement of their employees and contractual workers, she said.
There should be no impediments in the working of micro, small and medium industries involved in essential items like flour, lentils, edible oil.
"Warehouses and cold storages should be allowed to function without any impediments whether they are storing essential or non-essential items," she said.
Srivastava made it clear that all these directions are applicable except in hotspots and containment zones.
She said states should ensure that all the directions reach the district and field level for implementation.
The officer said state governments are making continuous efforts to implement the lockdown with retired police officers, NCC cadets, NSS volunteers helping the police in enforcing it.