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Coronavirus lockdown | Punjab rules out inter-State bus services till May 31

Local buses will start in non-containment zone soon in a phased manner, says Chief Minister

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday directed the Transport department to draft the standard operating procedures for the resumption of local bus movement in all but the containment zones, but ruled out inter-State bus service till May 31.

Also read: India lockdown 4.0 guidelines | What’s allowed and what’s not?

Terming the danger of the spread as a result of people coming together with the start of the relaxations as the real test, the Chief Minister directed all departments to ensure close monitoring and strict adherence to all advisories. He asked the Police department to be tough in ensuring social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention protocols and to challan those stepping out without masks.

At a video conference to review the situation, he instructed the Transport department to put in place stringent protocols for handling daily passengers travelling on the point-to-point inter-State buses which will start moving after May 31.

Making it clear that inter-State movement will be allowed only on special and Shramik trains at least till May 31, the Chief Minister said buses will be allowed to ply within the State in a phased manner.

Referring to the continued entry of migrants, NRIs and others via special trains and flights, he reiterated his earlier directions for strict adherence to their quarantine rules. So far, 60,000 Punjabis had registered to return and 20,000 NRIs were also expected to return, he said.

Coronavirus | NDMA directs Centre, States to extend lockdown till May 31

The Chief Minister said while Punjab was willingly sending back people, including migrants, spending ₹7.5 lakh per train, other States were not reciprocating and were asking his government to arrange for ferrying Punjabis back from there.

“As of date, more than 2 lakh migrants of the 11 lakh who had registered on the special portal created by the government had left Punjab.” He said 20 trains are leaving Punjab every day with 15 scheduled for Uttar Pradesh and six for Bihar on May 18. Captain Amarinder said while more trains were needed for Bihar, the State was not willing to take in people at this stage as their quarantine facilities were full.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 11:40:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-lockdown-punjab-rules-out-inter-state-bus-services-till-may-31/article31616528.ece

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