UPSRTC gears up for fog halts with beds, all-night canteens
Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) didn’t operate 510 buses or had to stop them midway due to fog on Tuesday-Wednesday night in the state
Having decided to not operate its buses when visibility becomes poor due to dense fog, the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) is arranging for resting rooms and a few beds at bus stops.
These arrangements will come in handy when buses stop on account of dense fog.
Moreover, if passengers choose to stay elsewhere for the night, they will be called and informed when the bus is ready to leave the depot when the fog clears, confirmed UPSRTC regional manager Manoj Pundhir.
The UPSRTC did not operate as many as 510 buses or had to stop them midway due fog on the roads causing poor visibility on Tuesday-Wednesday night.
As per the details collected by UPSRTC from all over the state, the highest number of buses (90) were stopped in the Agra region, 85 of them at the Agra Fort bus station alone. Similarly, 71 buses were stopped in the Ghaziabad region, comprising among others, the Anand Vihar and Kashmiri Gate bus stations in Delhi.
Similarly, 41 buses had to be halted in Prayagraj, 31 in Gorakpur, 20 in Varanasi and 13 in Lucknow -- six at Alambagh bus station and seven at Qaiserbagh terminal. Five buses were stopped at the Greater Noida bus station
The 1500 UPSRTC buses that are in circulation in the state currently will not take any fresh bookings for the (night) period as long as the dense fog persists.
“The buses will stop at the nearest bus stop when the fog gets heavy and will resume again after sunrise,” said Pundhir.
“It is not set that the movement will be suspended for 12 straight hours (8pm to 8am). The crux is that they should not be in transit when the visibility is poor,” he said.
Pundhir also said that the canteens at these bus stops will also be running for commuters through the night. The yatri plazas have been equipped with all the amenities commuters may need during these long halts.
Every depot has an assigned assistant regional manager (ARM), who will be at the bus depots by 11pm, and one person has been designated specifically for checking whether or not the rules imposed for the foggy days are being complied with.
According to a report from Prayagraj, UPSRTC has introduced a standard operating procedure (SOP) for safe journey of passengers.
Only “new or A-category” passenger buses with drivers having five years of good track record are now being allowed to ply on the 165-km-long Yamuna or Taj Expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra and 302-km high-speed Agra-Lucknow Expressway.
“Already online booking of UPSRTC night services buses has also been stopped till January 15, 2023; 67 such buses have been rescheduled in the Prayagraj region alone,” said UPSRTC regional manager, Prayagraj, MK Trivedi.
“Clear orders have been issued to all bus staff, including drivers and conductors that they are to park the vehicles at a safe spot away from the main road like bus depots, bus stands, petrol pumps and dhabas keeping safety of passengers, staff and the vehicles in mind,” the regional manager said.
A 24X7 control room too has been set up at the regional manager’s office from where information about the bus services, including breakdowns and accidents, is being collected on an hourly basis.
At the Inter State Bus Terminus (ISBT) Agra, passengers intending to travel at night were caught off guard due to cancellation of buses from ISBT.
These passengers, mainly for Delhi, Lucknow, Dehradun and Haridwar, had to look for alternative means as no prior information was given to them for cancellation of the bookings made online.
Ashok Kumar, UPSRTC regional manager, said, “The transport officials at the originating bus station can allow movement of buses only if the bus is in position to reach its destination before fog envelops the area.”
All the 84 buses from Kanpur that ply at night remained cancelled on Tuesday-Wednesday night. However, following a modification in the order, the services were resumed on Wednesday with certain riders.
Regional manager Luv Kumar Singh said in case of dense fog, buses would halt at the nearest police station, dhaba or a safe place on the highway.
12 injured in pile-up on Lucknow-Gorakhpur highway
Superintendent of police (North) Manoj Kumar Awasthi confirmed that 12 people sustained injuries and five of them were admitted to the district hospital while others were undergoing treatment at a community health centre.
A Bihar roadways bus overturned after colliding with a truck which led to the pile-up.
He said the heavy vehicles, including trucks, were on their way to Bihar from Delhi via Deoria and Kushinagar districts when the accident took place.
People in vehicles behind this bus were injured in the accident and passengers of the bus also suffered minor injuries. No death has been reported so far, police said.
Joint Magistrate Neha Bandhu said the road has been cleared for traffic.
She said the incident took place between 6 and 7am.
The district authorities said the presence of traffic police near the highway would be ensured and reflector jacket had been provided to them and these would be visible in dense fog. HTC/PTI