Tamil Nadu

Bus services resume in Tiruchi with all precautions

A passenger being screened at Tiruchi bus stand on Monday. Photo: M.Moorthy

A passenger being screened at Tiruchi bus stand on Monday. Photo: M.Moorthy  

Middle seats left vacant for ensuring personal distancing

Bus services which had been suspended in the State since the enforcement of the lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19 resumed in zone 4 in the the central region on Monday.

The Central bus stand in Tiruchi city saw travellers from other districts - Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Ariyalur, Perambalur and Pudukottai - travel for work. City buses too, began plying to the relief of commuters who had been depending on private vehicles and autorickshaws.

In a meeting at the Central bus stand before resumption of services, senior officials of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation instructed drivers and conductors to ensure they wear face masks and gloves at all times.

They were also asked to ensure that all passengers wear masks for the entire duration of the journey. Buses in the district will ply from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m.

At the bus stand, a counter has been created at each of the platforms where a staff member checked the body temperature of travellers using a thermal gun. Following the check, they were allowed to board the buses.

Conductors standing at the footboard offered hand sanitiser to the passengers as they entered. On three-seaters, the middle seat was required to be left empty while on two-seaters, only person was allowed to sit.

A wash basin was made available with a soap dispenser for the use of bus drivers and conductors at the bus stand. Drivers were also required to ensure that the buses were disinfected at the end of each trip. The TNSTC has made arrangements to provide zinc and vitamin tablets to all employees to increase immunity, an official said.

Speaking to The Hindu, an officer in charge at the Central bus stand said that by 10 a.m. on Monda, at least four buses each had departed to Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Tiruvarur, Ariyalur, Perambalur and Pudukottai in the zone.

Buses to Karur district, which is has been included in zone I also began plying. However, many passengers and officials were not aware of the need for an e-pass to travel to the district in a different zone. “We were not told to check for any passes. Did the government not say passes are not required?” a conductor on a Karur bus asked.

Most passengers aboard the Karur bus were employees headed to work in the district. “My employer asked us to come to work from today after over two months. Since the buses are plying, we are back to work,” a passenger said.

S. Jayanthi, another passenger who had been stranded in Tiruchi while visiting her mother, boarded the bus to return to her hometown in Karur. “I came to the bus stand only to check if there were buses to Karur. Since it is plying, I’m headed for home now,” she said.

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Printable version | Jul 12, 2020 4:23:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/bus-services-resume-in-tiruchi-with-all-precautions/article31720095.ece

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