Dhabas, Garages Along Highways To Remain Open

The government has in a notification clarified that a minimum of 140 dhabas (eateries) and 223 garages dotting the state and national highways will remain functional during the period of lockdown, in a bid to assist and ease the burden of those delivering essential services and goods to the state and beyond.

“We have ensured that the distance between each dhaba is at least 20km. They have not been rendering their services to people other than the staff of goods vehicles. The dhabas provide food in parcels to the drivers and helpers of the goods vehicles. Nobody can sit and dine at the dhabas,” state transport commissioner Sanjeeb Panda said.

The garages have been specifically ordered to sell only spare auto parts for transport vehicles. The government aims to ensure the seamless movement of intra and inter-state trucks carrying essential and non-essential goods during the lockdown phase. Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) have been directed to ensure compliance with the order.

Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts top the list with 16 dhabas each, 26 garages have been opened in Khurda district and 21 each in Nayagarh and Sambalpur. Earlier, the state administration had issued circulars to facilitate the smooth movement of goods in the state. The government had also asked the district collectors to grant permission accordingly through the civil supply officers and regional transport officers.

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