NEW DELHI: In view of passengers facing inconvenience to commute from railway stations to their homes, the centre on Thursday allowed states and Union Territories to hire special buses for ferrying passengers arriving at railway passengers.
In a letter to the states, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs said special buses were being allowed in view of restrictions on the movement of public and private transport during the lockdown imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla, in the communication sent to all chief secretaries, also mentioned that some states had sought the centre to allow movement of special busses to ferry passengers arriving at railway stations by trains. "Keeping in view the situation, state and UT governments are allowed to engage special buses from railway station wherever public personal transport is not available, maintaining proper social distancing norms," Bhalla said.
Referring to the May 11 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by the ministry on movement of passengers by trains, Bhalla stated that the SOP allowed to and fro movement of passengers from railway station on the basis of confirmed e-tickets.
Some of the state governments have requested to allow special buses to ferry the passengers arriving by train to their home, keeping in view of restrictions placed on public personal transport in various zones, the letter said.
The central government has resumed the train services connecting New Delhi with 15 destinations in different parts of the country beginning Tuesday.
The Indian Railways is also running hundreds of special trains daily to transport lakhs of stranded migrant labourers to their home states.