Ganesh Chaturthi 2020: 10,000 people register for travel to Konkan
Travellers given confirmed tickets only if they present negative report of RT-PCR test
More than 10,000 travellers booked tickets in advance to travel by Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses between August 13 and 21 for Ganeshotsav. The MSRTC is making it mandatory for all travellers to do a COVID-19 test before embarking on the journey.
Sources said that with such a huge volume of bookings, it was obvious that the state government was concerned about the number of quarantine centres in the districts of Konkan and Raigad, resulting in putting the running of trains on hold.
An MSRTC spokesperson confirmed that 10,000 people have registered themselves for advance booking through the website. Till August 9, 30 group buses had been reserved.
"It is mandatory for travellers to do a real-time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (rt-RT-PCR) test and have a negative result. Confirmed tickets are issued only after travellers presenting negative test results," the MSRTC spokesperson said.
He added that once the reserved ticket is issued, a separate e-pass permitting travel will not be required. Sanitised buses have been made available at Mumbai, Thane, Palghar divisional bus depots.
"The buses stop only at designated halts identified by the MSRTC for water/food and toilet breaks along the route," he said.
All social distancing and safety protocols are followed. Masks are mandatory. Not more than 22 passengers are allowed on-board each 44-seater bus and the passengers are dropped at a single destination point in the village.
MSRTC, which has a fleet of over 17,000, traditionally organises a large number of buses during Ganapati festival to go to Konkan every year. With COVID-19 restrictions in place, officials said they will try to arrange the maximum number of buses to ensure social distancing and protocols.
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