Intra-district ST bus services in Maharashtra from May 22

Published: May 22, 2020, 10:28 IST | PTI | Mumbai

ST buses will be run at 50 per cent occupancy to meet social distancing norms and services will be available only for limited hours

This picture has been used for representation purpose
This picture has been used for representation purpose

In a relief to people during the lockdown, the Maharashtra government on Thursday decided to resume intra-district State Transport (ST) bus services, excluding in red zones and COVID-19 containment areas, from Friday with certain conditions. The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) announced resumption of intra-district bus operations from May 22 (Friday). The bus operations will resume with certain terms and conditions, the MSRTC said in a statement.

ST buses will be run at 50 per cent occupancy to meet social distancing norms and services will be available only for limited hours, it said. Red zones and COVID-19 containment areas have been kept out of the routes of these buses, the statement said. The state-owned transport body had stopped its statewide bus operations since March 22 due to 'janata curfew' and the subsequent COVID-19-enforced lockdown. Since the past two months, MSRTC's bus operation has been restricted to the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, where it is ferrying staffers o n emergency and essential services duty.

Since the first week of May, the corporation has also ferried over two lakh migrants till Maharashtra's borders with other states and to various districts within the state. "The state government has granted permission to operate intra-district bus services with certain terms and conditions during the lockdown period," MSRTC said. From Friday, buses will be operated on certain routes of districts, strictly following terms and conditions laid down by the corporation, the statement said.

According to MSRTC, intra-district bus services will be available only between 7 am and 7 pm and all buses will be sanitised using disinfectants before putting them on roads. The transport body said that following social distancing norms, buses will carry only 50 per cent of their passenger capacity. Also, senior citizens and children below 10 won't be allowed to board buses, barring in emergency situations, the statement said.

According to MSRTC, it will be compulsory for every passenger to wear mask while travelling. Also, passengers and bus crew will have to use hand sanitisers.MSRTC, the biggest road transport corporation in the country, has a fleet of around 18,000 buses. Before the lockdown, it used to ferry over 65 lakh daily passengers across Maharashtra.

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