With passenger scarcity, roadways reels under losses

With passenger scarcity, roadways reels under losses

A bus waits for passengers at the Faridabad depot.

Bijendra Ahlawat

Tribune News Service

Faridabad, May 3

With the Covid surge and prevailing lockdown conditions, buses operated by the local depot of the Haryana Roadways have started to feel the heat. The depot’s revenue has already slipped into red.

“The 80-odd buses operated by the local depot are running with very less or poor occupancy due to the lack of passengers and Covid guidelines issued for travelling in public transport,” claim officials of the Transport Department here.

“With only 26 passengers allowed in a bus against the capacity of 52, buses are getting only up to 8 to 12 people on any given route at present,” said an employee on the condition of anonymity. “This had been going on for the past many weeks and especially since the start of the second wave about a month ago,” he said, adding that the situation was not expected to improve soon as the Covid surge was yet to hit the peak. Though buses are disinfected, hand-sanitising facility for commuters in buses or at the stands was missing.

Admitting that the bus service of the local depot was facing severe financial losses due to lack of passengers amid Covid surge, Rajiv Nagpal, general manager, Faridabad depot, said buses were plying despite the hurdles, just in the larger interest of the public. He, however, said against the average monthly expense of Rs 5 crore, the local depot has managed to earn only Rs 2.5 crore in April and the loss could increase further. He said no fresh instructions had been received regarding the discontinuation of bus services on any route in wake of the Covid surge.

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