ST buses pick up 21,714 migrants from highways

Updated: May 12, 2020, 07:36 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Between 9 and 11 May, 1,169 buses ferried 21,714 migrants, of which, 11,866 were ferried by 530 buses on Monday alone.

Over 1,000 ST buses are plying on the state's highways. Pic/Rajendra B Aklekar
Over 1,000 ST buses are plying on the state's highways. Pic/Rajendra B Aklekar

The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation or MSRTC, India's second-biggest fleet owner, has ferried over 21,000 migrants and their families in 1,169 buses between May 9 and 11. The migrants were either dropped off at the state's borders or those waiting at the borders were brought home.

Between 9 and 11 May, 1,169 buses ferried 21,714 migrants, of which, 11,866 were ferried by 530 buses on Monday alone.

MSRTC (Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation) buses from various depots of Nashik, Jalgaon, Dhule, Ahmednagar, Nagpur started plying since May 9 and on Monday, the portal that was supposed to start registering more migrants willing to travel was still non-functional.(https://public.msrtcors.com/ticket_booking/index.php#)

Activist Anil Galgali on Monday said that initially, the links for individual and group bookings were seen on the MSRTC portal in the morning, but on clicking neither of them were functioning.

"I then alerted the chief minister's office and filed a complaint," he said.

However, a senior government official later said that the decision to open a web portal had been postponed once again after district administrations from green zones complained saying such movement will convert the entire state into a red zone. A fresh decision is now awaited on the matter, though State Transport buses continue to run on highways and pick up walking migrants. MSRTC had earlier sent around 90 buses to bring back students stranded in Kota, Rajasthan.

There was chaos outside all bus depots on Monday after the news of ST buses resuming spread and also led to police action outside ST bus depot in Mumbai Central.

6 new cases in BEST
The BEST Undertaking on Monday said that six new cases were reported on Monday and 21 infected patients have recovered. The rate of recovery is 21 per cent so far. Of the total 81 COVID-19 cases among BEST employees, five have died. Total 10,972 employees have been examined, and over 600 low-risk employees have been quarantined.

11,866
No. of migrants ferried on Monday alone

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