Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, September 16
Passengers waiting for the resumption of public bus service to Chandigarh heaved a sigh of relief after the Punjab Roadways and other transport services started plying to the Union Territory (UT) on Wednesday.
The development came a day after the state government gave a green signal to the movement of buses to and from Chandigarh. Over 100 buses from the district left for the UT from the city bus stand, including 52 government buses. While the buses to Chandigarh started plying early in the day, the rush of passengers was limited. As per the first seven routes of the Jalandhar depot-1 buses, around 71 passengers were ferried to UT.
Kuldeepak, an official at the city bus stand, who manages the permit and routes of Roadways buses, said the buses operated with earlier guidelines only with not more than 50 per cent capacity. He said in the absence of passengers, buses operated as per limited schedule. “On the first day of the reopening of the Chandigarh route, around 110 buses of various depots, including Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Ropar, CTU and the PRTC among other private buses left the city bus stand with passengers. The count of passengers is expected to rise in the coming days, as many enquires were earlier received regarding the bus services to Chandigarh,” Kuldeepak said.
Meanwhile, drivers ferrying passengers said, social distancing norms were followed and it was ensured that passengers wore masks and their hands were sanitised, before boarding the buses. “There was no rush at most bus stands in the morning hours, but many people expressed relief at the resumption of bus services,” said Gurjit Singh, a conductor. Navraj Batish, Roadways General Manager, said: “After the suspension of buses in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak, the Roadways has already suffered losses in crores and even as the services to Chandigarh have resumed, the recovery rate is still low due to the 50 per cent capacity rule.”
He also confirmed that inter-state movement of buses would remain terminated until the next orders.
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