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While speaking at the launch of a book that honors India’s truck drivers, Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways said that truck manufacturers will now have to install air conditioners in the truck cabins. Though the exact implementation date was not announced, it looks like in a couple of years, the order should start being executed. The event called ‘Desh Chaalak – Recognising those who move India’ organised by Mahindra Logistics.
“Our drivers operate vehicles in harsh temperatures and we must imagine the condition of drivers. I was keen to introduce the AC cabin after I became a minister. But some people opposed it saying the cost of trucks will go up. Today, I have signed the file that all truck cabins will be AC cabins. We must ensure that the people who drive the trucks are well taken of.”
Gadkari also shed light on the shortage of drivers in the country, which leads to extended working hours for existing ones, resulting in extreme work pressure and minimum work-life balance. Another point raised by him was the need for establishing more training schools for drivers in order to add on to the transport industry’s skilled workforce.
He also spoke about the reduction in logistics costs and that it needs to be brought down in order to improve export competitiveness, adding good quality roads and trucks is key to it.
Often lacking business acumen, truck drivers are a community that is often invisible, even though they form the backbone of India’s thriving economy, and play an integral role in driving the growth of our nation. The stressful and demanding nature of the work done by the truckers clearly impacts their physical and mental well-being.