Kerala

States authorised to take a call on interstate bus services

The State government can now decide on the intrastate services of KSRTC.

The State government can now decide on the intrastate services of KSRTC.   | Photo Credit: S_RAMESHKURUP

Taxi, auto services to resume in green zones

The stage is set for for the resumption of public transport services and operation of interstate bus services and passenger vehicles with the Centre asking the States to take a call on them while extending the lockdown till May 31.

The government has given the nod to resume taxi and autorickshaw services in green zones.

As States have been given the authority by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to decide on the intrastate movement of passenger vehicles and buses, the government can decide on the services of KSRTC and private stage carriers in non-hotspot areas.

Similarly, all States/Union Territories involved can decide whether interstate movement of passenger vehicles and buses can resume.

Fare factor

The government has to take a call on the operation of bus services as several factors like fare hike will have to be taken into account in consultation with the stakeholders, Transport Department sources told The Hindu.

Restrictions on travel from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and movement through the containment zones in Tamil Nadu will be major constraints for the operation of interstate bus services.

Manoj Padikkal, president of the Inter-State Bus Operators Association Kerala, said the chances of allowing AC buses were slim. The fare will have to doubled as only half the seats can be filled. Getting permission of all the States will be time consuming, he added.

Social distancing

While operating the bus services, the State will have to follow the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the MHA and follow social distancing norms.

The nod to open canteens in bus depots, airports and railway stations is to benefit the travellers coming in three modes of transport.

The move to resume train services during the lockdown period will also benefit hundreds of the Keralites, especially those held up in the northern and northeastern States since March 25.

But, prohibiting the domestic, international air travel and metro rail services in the country till May 31 will be a big setback for the State. Kochi Metro services will remain suspended and this will be a hurdle as MHA has given nod for full functioning of the offices in the public and private sector.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 1:45:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/states-authorised-to-take-a-call-on-interstate-bus-services/article31609289.ece

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