Break the chain: Is everyone allowed to travel in local trains, buses, taxis, autos amid 'janta curfew' in Maharashtra?

Owing to the rise in the massive cases in the COVID-19 cases in Maharashtra, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray today announced a lockdown like curbs to be imposed in the state. The newly announced curbs will stay in effect till May 1 beginning from April 14.

The curfew, which excludes essential services, will come into effect from 8 pm on Wednesday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said in his address via social media to people of the state.

Section 144 (prohibitory orders) of the Criminal Procedure Code will be in force till the "lockdown-like" restrictions are in place, Thackeray said.

In the newly announced guidelines the government has barred all non essential people from travelling. No mode of transportation is banned - local trains, buses, auto-rickshaws, taxis shall be operating as usual but only for the essential/ emergency service employees only.

Here's a look at the guidelines issued for public and private transport:

Public transport

a) All persons using public transport to compulsorily wear mask in a proper manner barring which fine of Rs 500 will be imposed on the offenders.

b) In 4 wheeler taxi, if any one person is not wearing mask, the offender and the driver of the taxi will be fined an amount of Rs 500 each

c) All vehicles to be sanitised after every trip.

d) All public transport - drivers and other staff coming into contact with the public to get vaccinated at the earliest, as per criteria of GOI and must display exemplary Covid Appropriate Behaviour. For taxis and autos. driver should be encouraged to isolate himself or herself through use of a plastic sheet or otherwise

e) Movement of personnel to perform duties related to public transport shall constitute a valid reason for the purposes of I(b)

f) In the case of out-station trains, railway authorities to ensure that there are no standing passengers in the general compartment and all passengers use masks

g) Fine of Rs 300 to be levied in all trains for non-compliance with Covid Appropriate Behaviour.

h) Public transport that has been allowed with some conditions also includes all essential services that are essential for the smooth functioning of all modes of public transport. This also includes all essential activities that are required at the airport including handling of cargo ticketing etc

i) Persons arriving departing by any bus, train, flight from or town place of residence may travel on basisi of valid ticket through public transport

Private transport:

1) Private Vehicles including private buses can ply for the purposes of emergency, essential services or for valid reasons as specified in this order

2) Any default will be punishable with the fine of Rs. 1000/-

3) Private buses, in addition will be subjected to following

  • To play with only seating capacity, Standing passengers are strictly not allowed.

  • Staff must get vaccinated at per GOI criteria and must display exemplary Covid Appropriate Behaviour.

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