Resumption of bus service comes as big relief to people stranded in LudhianaUpdated: May 21, 2020 04:53 IST
The resumption of bus service in the state on Wednesday after around two months came as a big relief for the people stranded in different locations due to curfew.
Around 35 buses, both of PRTC and Punjab Roadways, ferried passengers to various destinations, including Jalandhar, Amritsar, Moga, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Sangrur, Ferozepur, from the Inter-State Bus Terminal (ISBT) here on Wednesday.
Each bus carried 20 to 25 passengers against its sitting capacity of 50. The passengers were ferried from one bus stand to another with no halts at bus stops on the way.
As there was no rush of passengers on the first day, buses had to wait for several hours for an adequate number of passengers of the end destination.
The first bus to Chandigarh from Ludhiana left at pm after 23 people boarded the bus for Chandigarh.
“I have to go to Jalandhar, but a conductor informed me that the last bus left 10 minutes ago. Now, I will have to wait for an hour or more till more passengers for Jalandhar gather here,” said Lalit Kumar, a resident of Kathua of Jammu and Kashmir, whose wife Urmil is admitted in Deep Hospital here for appendicitis surgery.
“I have to get some important documents concerning her treatment from Kathua, so I will take a bus from Jalandhar to Pathankot from where I will go with my cousin to Kathua after some days when the border opens,” he said.
Similarly, Prem Singal, a vegetable vendor, who travelled from Hoshiarpur to Ludhiana, was waiting for a bus to Patiala.
“My mother, who lives in Hoshiarpur, was not well, so I had gone to meet her in March while my wife and two kids were in Patiala, where I sell vegetables to make a living. They were left on their own throughout the curfew, while I was stuck in Hoshiapur. I also ran out of money during this time and left with the money just for travelling,” he added.
PASSENGERS SCREENED BEFORE BOARDING BUSES
Around 14 rural dispensary pharmacists were deputed at the bus stand for screening passengers before they boarded the buses.
Karamjeet Kaur, a pharmacist, said the temperature of all the passengers is being checked and in case a person is found having high temperature, he will be taken to the hospital.
“Till now, we have not encountered any passenger with fever. We are screening each and every person and giving him a sanitiser to clean his hands before boarding the bus,” she said.
Similarly, around 10 Civil Defence staff members helped in maintaining social distancing at the bus stand. The volunteers ensured people stood in queues while boarding the buses and sit at a distance as per the marking on the seats.
Inderjit Singh Chawla, general manager, Ludhiana depot, said around 500 people boarded the 35 buses for different cities on Wednesday.
“Everything went on smoothly on the first day. The municipal corporation sanitised the bus stand on Tuesday evening while the civil surgeon’s office had deputed a medical team for carrying out screening. Similary, a Civil Defence team helped us in maintaining social distancing,” said Inderjit Singh Chawla.
“We ensured that people do not face any inconvenience and buses reach safely at their destinations,” he added.