New Delhi: Haryana has become the first state to get back public transport within the state after it resumed inter-district bus services on Friday to facilitate the movement of people who are stuck in different parts of state due to the coronavirus lockdown. “We were sending a lot of people to other states. Then we realised that many of our people were stuck in various districts with no means to travel. That's when we decided to start inter-district bus services," Haryana police chief Manoj Yadav said.
The inter-district buses will stop only at its destination, with no other stops on its way and the tickets will need to be booked online, he said. "In the last one week, we have managed to send over 100,000 migrant workers back to their respective states," the top police officer said.
Initially, the Haryana government had designated 29 routes for the resumption of bus services. But nine of routes were suspended in due to no bookings. Bus services were closed since Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced a lockdown in the state on March 23. On Day 1, buses from eight depots did round trips on several routes with 196 passengers, bringing in revenue of Rs 42,580 to the roadways.
"Only non-air conditioned buses are running and to ensure social distancing in a bus with a capacity of 52 people, we are only allowing 30 passengers to travel," a senior functionary said. Haryana has also given permission to many of its industries to start their production.
There are more than 35,000 industries based in Haryana and many of them are already functional. Delhi, Haryana's neighbouring state, in its suggestions to the centre, has sought permission to start local transport to facilitate movement of people in lockdown 4.0. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking re-opening of malls with 33 per cent of their shops open. He also suggested that metro services be permitted for public sector employees, and for those delivering essentials and have e-passes.
Punjab allows movement of people
Punjab has also allowed the movement of vehicles, including public transport within the state, while it has allowed inter-state buses with mutual consent of other states. For taxis, four wheelers and cab aggregator it shall be limited to one driver and two passengers. For rickshaws and auto-rickshaws, one driver/puller and two passengers. For two wheelers and bicycles, it shall be limited to one rider or wife and husband or with one minor child.
OPDs in government and private hospitals have been allowed. Sports complex and stadia without spectators has also been allowed. While shops in rural and urban areas have been allowed, restaurants have only been allowed to operate for home delivery & take-away in staggered manner.
Barber shops and haircut salons (both in rural and urban areas) have been allowed with condition of no over-crowding.