Coronavirus outbreak: State transport MSRTC buses travels 4,600 km to West Bengal to drop migrants

Updated: May 24, 2020, 09:51 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar |

A MSRTC official said a payment of Rs 1,93,925 was received by the bus depot as a part of the agreement from the district collector's office and then the bus was arranged

The MSRTC bus dropped 24 migrant labourers stuck in the district to their hometown
The MSRTC bus dropped 24 migrant labourers stuck in the district to their hometown

At 2,300 km in single direction and 4,600 km in return, a Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) bus from Satara bus depot has become the first public transport bus in the state to travel such a long distance, all the way to Nadia in West Bengal along the Bangladesh border to drop 24 migrants from the district.

MSRTC officials said that the bus departed on May 15 at around 7 pm and has been carrying 24 migrant labourers stuck in the district to their hometown. After its success, another bus set out for West Bengal last night.

Shekhar Channe, who is holding additional charge as MSRTC Managing Director and Vice-Chairman said that MSRTC has started bus operations for the benefit of migrants and in the past 10 days, it has transported about 2,01,988 migrant labourers in 1,5367 buses.

MSRTC-Bus-Migrants
MSRTC has also arranged buses to Puducherry, Rajasthan, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh among other states

A MSRTC official said a payment of Rs 1,93,925 was received by the bus depot as a part of the agreement from the district collector's office and then the bus was arranged and that the bus covering such a large amount of distance had been adequately equipped.

MSRTC's Satara divisional controller Sagar Palsule told mid-day that the bus reached safely and after dropping off 24 migrants, it has resumed the return journey.

"This would be for the first time in the history of corporation that a bus has travelled so far. There were no glitches on the way. We had arranged two sets of drivers so that one could take rest while the other one takes the wheel. In fact, one more bus has already left for West Bengal to a place called Malda," he added.

"The MSRTC has also arranged buses to Puducherry with 23 migrants, Rajashthan with 22 migrants, Gulbarga in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Hyderabad in Telangana since May 7," Satara district information officer Yuvraj V Patil said.

Among all these buses, the buses that have been going to West Bengal have so far been covering the maximum distance.

MSRTC buses have now also got plastic sheets to protect its driver cabins for complete segregation of public areas and driving staff areas. With such shields the MSRTC may be able to provide additional safety to its driving staff besides providing safety masks and sanitisers! 

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