BHOPAL: Neither the government, nor the bus operators are interested to look into the issues of the inter district commuters. Even 24 days on after the government ordered the resumption of bus services in the state, the private buses continue to remain off roads.
The national lockdown 4.0 ended on May 31, but for people planning to move outstation have no option but to defer their travel plans as the bus operators seeking more relaxations from the state government has refused to resume bus operations across the state. The RTO Bhopal Sanjay Tiwari informed that the bus operators citing financial issues are demanding three months road tax waiver and 3 month road tax exemption, besides other demands to resume their operations.
On June 1 after the lockdown was lifted, the private route bus owners association had decided to not to run their 35,000 buses.
The association state president Govind Sharma informed Free Press that the state government had then allowed running of busses on half the occupancy which was not acceptable to us. Besides, relaxing the limitation of the passengers, the association had also demanded waiving off three months road tax, and further relaxations for another next four months. The government has lifted the restriction regarding the number of passengers, however it is still to consider our other demands of the road tax waiver and also permitting the running of busses between 7 pm and 5 am, the curfew time, he added. The union has demanded that government should pay pay Rs 5000 per month to the drivers and the other staff running the bus, he said adding we have also demanded the government to upgrade the bus stands as per the Covid-19 safety norms.
The bus operators union of 54 district had already submitted the memorandum to the government, but so far we haven’t not heard from the government, he rued.
Sharma further added the government though had allowed the resumption of bus operations on June 1, however, imposed major restrictions like running bus with limited number of passenger and following social distancing norms. If the guidelines are followed, the business will suffer huge loss, as if the transportation expenditure is Rs 11,000, the bus operator will earn only Rs 6000, he added .
Finding the way out the home department had then amended the orders on June 15 and allowed the bus operators to run their buses on full occupancy. The government allowed the operators to run buses with full strength in the state barring in Indore, Bhopal and in Ujjain divisions, where the number of passenger was restricted to 50 per cent. The interstate bus operations continue to be prohibited till June 30. In the inter district bus operations, the buses will be run on the general basis. Except the emergency services all activities are restricted from 9 pm to 5 am around the state.