DTC staff to face action for violation of social distancing norms: Delhi transport minister
Delhi’s transport minister Kailash Gahlot says that the department is taking all the necessary precautions of social-distancing norms and safety measures like use of sanitisers and masks to check the spread of Covid-19.Updated: May 20, 2020 12:37 IST
Delhi’s transport minister Kailash Gehlot said on Wednesday action will be taken against drivers, conductors and bus marshals of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) if they do not implement rules of social distancing and other safety norms on buses.
The Delhi government pressed more than 2,000 DTC buses and cluster buses into service on Tuesday from its fleet of 6,487 buses as public transport resumed after nearly two months in the national capital after lockdown rules were relaxed.
Kailash Gahlot had said on Tuesday that the department is taking all the necessary precautions of social-distancing norms and safety measures like use of sanitisers and masks to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus disease (Covid-91. He had said thermal scanning has been started at some terminals and bus stands.
On buses, stickers saying ‘do not sit’ have been pasted on every alternate seat.
“Drivers, conductors and bus marshals have been strictly instructed to not run buses with more than 20 passengers. If it comes to surface that they are not following these directions, strong action will be taken against all three,” Kailash Gahlot was quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Wednesday.
Gehlot also said more buses of DTC have been requisitioned by the revenue and police departments.
“Most Delhi Transport Corporation buses are engaged in ferrying migrants to railway stations, today we have received information that Revenue Department has requisitioned around 1200 buses & 400-500 buses have been requisitioned by police,” Gahlot said, according to ANI.
Transport officials said the number of passengers who travelled in the state-run buses on Tuesday was only about 10% of the usual daily bus ridership of 3.2 million.
Commuters have demanded more buses and an increase in the frequency of trips.
Many even questioned the government’s move to open all offices, industries and allow construction and other economic activities to resume citing that the public transport system was “grossly inadequate” to handle the load, which is going to increase with each passing day. The Metro service is still not allowed in the national capital.
Only 1,650 marshals were deployed at bus stops on Tuesday, with the result that people queueing up at bus stops were seen voluntarily following the social distancing protocol.
A fewer number of buses, coupled with the rule that allowing only 20 passengers per bus, resulted in longer waiting periods for people at bus stops.