Bus service resumes in Bihar after a month; masks, sanitisers compulsory for all
Bus services in Bihar resumed from Tuesday, a month after they were stopped amid the coronavirus pandemic, following a state transport department directive.
A decision in this regard was taken in the crisis management group meeting of the government headed by state chief secretary Deepak Kumar on Monday.
“It’s good the government has resumed bus services. Social distancing measures are hard to follow but we are trying. Sanitisers need to be made compulsory,” said a passenger, according to ANI.
Although buses were earlier allowed to ply from July 1 onwards in the state, all public transport services, except rail and air travel, were once again stopped on July 16 after the enforcement of fresh lockdown. Autorickshaws, taxis and cabs were, however, allowed to ply.
State transport secretary Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said it will be mandatory for passengers, drivers and conductors to wear masks, adding that the number of passengers, in any circumstances, should not exceed the number of seats.
Agarwal said that the officials concerned have been asked to ensure that bus owners sanitize and clean the buses after each trip. The drivers and conductors should wear clean clothes, masks and gloves and the bus owners will also have to provide santiser to the passengers.
He also asked officials to make sure that social distancing is maintained by people while boarding and de-boarding the buses.
The Bihar government had again decided to extend the lockdown till September 6, owing to the rising cases of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in the state.
The state’s home department had issued an order in this regard on August 17. The lockdown was imposed from July 16 to July 31 and later extended till August 16.
No public transport was earlier allowed to ply in areas falling under lockdown norms, state officials had said, owing to orders issued on July 30 for the containment of Covid-19.
Air and rail travel had been allowed to continue and offices, banks, and other offices were allowed to function with minimal staff strength.
The total number of recovered cases among Covid-19 patients in Bihar crossed the one lakh- mark on Monday, a bulletin issued by the health department said.
The state also reported 17 deaths due to the infection taking the number of fatalities to 627, while its coronavirus tally rose to 1,23,382 after 1,227 fresh cases were reported in the past 24 hours, it said.
(with inputs from PTI)