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Drivers of DTC, cluster buses instructed not to drive with over 20 passengers on board

Social Issues

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Delhi government has directed the drivers of public transport buses not to drive if the number of passengers is above 20 and call the police if the extra persons do not deboard.

Delhi Transport minister Kailash Gahlot said if the extra passengers do not deboard after a request from the conductor, driver or marshal, then they will dial 100 to call the police.

According to the relaxations announced by the Centre during the extended lockdown, Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and cluster buses cannot carry more than 20 passengers.

Gahlot said stringent action will be taken against the conductors, drivers and marshals if more than 20 people are found travelling in the buses.

"The Delhi government is very serious about maintaining social distancing in buses and the drivers, conductors and marshals have been strictly instructed not to have more than 20 passengers in a bus," he said.

On the first day of resumption of public transport services on Tuesday, around 3,400 DTC and cluster buses operated, including 1,400 given to the police and other government agencies under a special hire.

"The situation will improve within two-three days," Gahlot said.

Nearly 1,000 DTC buses were deployed to ensure a safe passage of migrant labourers to railway stations from various shelters on Tuesday. Around 1,200 DTC buses will be operating on Wednesday for the movement of migrants, Gahlot said.

There are around 6,500 public transport buses, including 3,900 run by the DTC and over 2,500 cluster buses operated by the Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System (DIMTS).

Gahlot said more cluster buses are on the roads on Wednesday as the drivers who were stuck in Uttar Pradesh or Haryana have reached Delhi.

He said the cooperation of people is key to maintaining social distancing in the buses and other modes of transport in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"People must ensure that they do not violate the rules in autorickshaws, buses or two-wheelers. If such violation takes place, action will be taken," the minister said.

The Delhi government is also working on a standard operating procedure (SOP) for public transportation. In view of the coronavirus spread, thermal screening at some key terminals and bus stops has been started and the government has ordered for more devices to cover other busy bus stops.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, May 20 2020. 16:36 IST