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Border crossing becomes a long haul for truck drivers

Vehicular movement on Salem-Kochi highway saw a gradual rise following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions from May 4.

Published: 07th May 2020 08:04 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th May 2020 08:04 AM   |  A+A-

Trucks making a beeline on Kochi-Salem National Highway to cross the Walayar checkpost, on the outskirts of Coimbatore. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

COIMBATORE: A number of truck drivers heading from Palakkad to Coimbatore made a beeline for hours at the Walayar checkpost on Wednesday to deliver goods to other areas.

Vehicular movement on Salem-Kochi highway saw a gradual rise following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions from May 4.

Sadly, many drivers had to wait for long hours to spell out their names and particulars at the check post established at the Tamil Nadu-Kerela border. They could neither step out of the vehicles nor park aside as the fleets kept moving inchmeal from the Palakkad Tollgate.

J Sathish (32), in a paddy husk-laden truck from Kochi, said he was waiting to cross the border for over eight hours. He had been there since 3 am on Wednesday.

S Shanmugham (40), driver of a plywood laden truck from Thrissur to Mandya (Karnataka) said, "I waited from 1 am till 12.30 pm on Wednesday to cross the border. There was difficulty in getting access to the loo as well."

They also cited the minimal counters established by the Coimbatore district administration to get the particulars of drivers crossing the border as the reason for their delay. On the other hand, an officer from the Kerala Police Department said they have established around 16 counters at Walayar check post to ease vehicle movement.

An IT worker from Calicut, who was waiting at the check post said he obtained an e-vehicle pass to travel to Gudalur (The Nilgiris) to bring his pregnant wife back with him.

Revenue officials of Coimbatore district posted at the lone checkpost said they are gathering names, mobile numbers, and the travel history of truck drivers before permitting them into the district.

Besides, a team of health department staff also screen the drivers and commuters with an infra-red thermometer.

When contacted, a top official from the Coimbatore district administration claimed there are enough staff members at the counter and the drivers are waiting for not more than 20 minutes at the check post.

A senior police officer with the Coimbatore District Police stated that vehicles from Coimbatore to Palakkad also make a beeline during evenings as well. The officer said they shall depute more volunteers at the checkpost to ensure swift movement of vehicles.

More from Tamil Nadu.

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