Amid the siege on several border points of Delhi by the farmers protesting the newly formed agrarian laws, the All India Organisation of Chemists and Druggists (AIOCD) has expressed concerns about the possibility of a shortage of essential medicines as the road transportation has been hampered in north India.
The organisation has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take immediate measures to resolve the impending crisis.
"AIOCD, an association of medicines traders having pan India presence with over 8.50 lakh members, appeals to you for your intervention, which is required to maintain the supply of medicines in northern India. Due to the ongoing 'Kisan Aandolan', road transportation has been hampered in the north area. We fear, if the situation continues there would be shortages of essential medicines throughout India," the letter read.
AIOCD President JS Shinde said that most drug manufacturing units are located in northern states, while the distribution of the medicines to other states takes place by road. He said that the shortage of essential medicine throughout the country would occur soon if the blockade on national highways continues.
"Most of the medicine manufacturers have their production facilities located in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and their depots are at Ambala/Zirakpur areas. Medicine supplies to various states of India are made by road transport and due to the Kisan Aandolan, road transportation has been disrupted heavily. If the situation continues, there would be shortages of essential medicines throughout the country," he added.
"We request therefore, kindly use your good offices to maintain supply of medicines by providing secure passage to medicine transporters," the letter urged Modi.
The organisation also appealed to the leaders of the farmers' agitation to allow essential transporters like medicines so as to ensure availability of medicines to needy public without interruption.
To block the farmers entry to the national capital, the Delhi Traffic Police have closed the national capital's seven borders, including Singhu, Auchandi, Lampur, Piao Maniyari, Mangesh, Tikri, and Jharoda. Thousands of farmers, mostly from Punjab, are protesting at the entry points to Delhi since November 26.
Meanwhile, a petition has also been filed in the Supreme Court seeking an "immediate removal" of protesting farmers from Delhi's borders. The petition said the large gatherings of farmers at the borders posed a challenge to the fight against the pandemic in the Capital. Entry of patients to Delhi from other States for treatment and supply of emergency medicines, etc, would also be affected, it added.