PATNA: After remaining off the road for more than four months, the different modes of public transport system including buses resumed their passengers’ services in Bihar from Tuesday between the state capital – Patna and other parts of the state amid strict Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).
The transport department allowed the resumption of the public transport system with a clear warning that road permit of buses and of any other modes of public transport can be cancelled if they are caught violating social distancing rule while ferrying the passengers.
The permission for the public transport system to resume services was granted at a meeting of state’s Crisis Management Group on Monday that was attended by state transports Secretary Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal and other officials.
The state police have been engaged to ensure proper social distancing maintained by passengers, drivers and the conductors of buses.
According to chairman of Bihar State Motor Transport Federation Uday Kumar Singh, more than 65,000 small and big buses were off the road on account of the statewide lockdown imposed for last 120 days where huge losses of more than Rs 200 crores were incurred.
“The owners ,the drivers and the other staff of buses and other public transport modes have suffered a lot due to lockdown in the state,” Singh said, demanding waive off in the taxes of vehicles for a period of last six months.
On average, more than 3 to 5 lakhs people have been suing the public transport system to travel across the state before the outbreak of Covid-19.
Just from the Patna-based main bus stand, more than 5000 ply to different parts of state daily.
Sanjay Kumar Aggarwal-transport secretary has issued an instruction that no public transport system will start its services from the areas of containment zones.
He has directed the officials to ensure proper sanitisation of buses and proper seating arrangements inside the vehicles maintaining the set norms of social distancing.
The owners of passengers’ vehicles have been asked to provide sanitizers in the vehicles for passengers.