Jaora (Ratlam district, Madhya Pradesh): With situation heading back to normal, district administration has allowed bus operators to ply their buses with 50 per cent seating capacity following Covid-19 protocol.
However, local bus operators are not following the standard operating procedure (SOPs) like maintaining physical distance.
Besides, there is no routine cleaning or disinfection of buses, which is needed to minimise the infection risk. Worse, bus drivers, conductors and passengers avoid wearing masks properly. There is no one to check whether the drivers and conductors have been vaccinated. Such a carefree journey will lead us to third wave.
According to Zafar Khan, one of bus operators managing his business from Priyadarshani Indira Gandhi Bus Stand, said, more than 150 buses ply on different routes from Priyadarshini Indira Gandhi Bus Stand on a normal day.
But after unlock, only 20 per cent of the buses have started. They include buses operating on Ratlam, Mandsaur, Ujjain and Alot routes. Most of the rural route buses are closed.
When contacted, Jaora sub-divisional magistrate Rahul Namdev Dhote said permission was given to operate buses according to Covid guidelines. “But it is not being followed. In this condition, we have asked district traffic police to ask bus operators to follow norms or face penal action,” he added.
Traffic police incharge Kailash Baghel said administration allowed buses with 50 per cent capacity while following Covid protocol. “From Thursday, we are going to launch a drive in the town against offenders, Baghel he added.
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