CHENNAI: The officials have formulated an ambitious strategy to maintain social distancing in public buses. While bus services have not yet begun, some were operated on Monday to ferry government employees to work. On the very first day, sources say, social distancing went for a toss. MTC officials have assured to make things better in the coming days.
With the State government deciding to reopen its offices with 50 per cent staffing from Monday, eight transport corporations operated special buses for the benefit of these employees. While 200 buses operated in Chennai, over 120 buses operated in other parts of the State. The general public are not allowed to travel by these buses.
While the government norms allow only 20 passengers per bus, those plying in Chennai, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur were found to be carrying many more. “There were over 35 passengers in MTC buses operated from Tambaram, Thiruvanmiyur, Vandalur and Thuraipakkam,” says a government staff who works out of the Panagal Maligai.
“There were hardly one or two buses on every route. If we cannot ensure social distancing for such a limited group, I wonder how it will be possible when the services resume for the general public.” A section of the employees rued that arrangements were made only for those working at the Secretariat.
“There were no services from Manali, Thiruverkadu, Thiruvottriyur and few other areas. A nodal officer should be designated to each department to make travel arrangements for employees,” said another employee. The MTC is operating 170 buses to Ripon Building, High Court, government hospitals, and the Secretariat since March 22. “On Monday we added 30 more. We will increase the services further depending on demand and requests,” an MTC official said.
While the government norms allow only 20 passengers per bus, those plying in Chennai, Kancheepuram, and Tiruvallur were found to be carrying many more. “There were over 35 passengers in MTC buses operated from Tambaram, Thiruvanmiyur, Vandalur and Thuraipakkam,” said a government staff