Meghalaya alleges trucks loading essentials for state made to

wait at Assam godowns Shillong, Mar 27 (PTI) Trucks loading essential commodities for Meghalaya are being made to wait at the godowns in Assam and the drivers stamped for quarantine, leading to 'unfair' delays, officials said on Friday.

The Meghalaya government has registered a strong protest regarding the matter with the Assam government, they said.

Stating that Meghalaya is dependent on markets in Guwahati for essential supplies, Chief Secretary M S Rao shot off a letter to his counterpart in Assam for sympathetic consideration.

In the circumstances, some directions to the authorities concerned for rationalisation of the system is earnestly requested, he said, in the letter to Assam Chief Secretary Sanjay Krishna.

Rao also urged the health authorities in Assam to put quarantine stamp only on those drivers who show some symptoms of COVID-19.

If it is done for all, there would be a serious problem whereby the truckers would have to immediately go for self-quarantine upon completion of the trip, he argued.

Meghalaya is yet to record a single case of COVID-19, deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong told PTI.

He said preparation for creating of isolation wards at every district headquarters is on a war footing and food supplies are being provided to the people at their doorstep.

There were only four ventilators available in Meghalaya. The state government has procured 30 more ventilators as precautionary measures to ensure that hospitals are equipped to deal with the pandemic, Tynsong said.

Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma appealed to the public not to panic as there is enough food in stock.

He said that the purpose of social distancing and lockdown will be defeated if people do not follow the directives of the government, which has been working tirelessly to ensure that essential items and services are made available.

Sangma also raised concern over the rush and crowding in certain markets of the state.

During the relaxation hours, there was panic. The intention of the relaxation was to enable the public to buy essential food items. However, the chaotic scene is something that is not advisable and desirable. The government is working for our safety, let us cooperate in this fight against coronavirus, the chief minister said. PTI JOP SOM SOM