Maharashtra allows free intra-state bus travel from May 11

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has decided to make available its bus services free of cost from Monday to facilitate travelling of people stranded in various parts of the state to their homes during the lockdown period, Transport Minister Anil Parab said on Saturday.

The State Transport (ST) bus service will be made available on the condition of fulfilling certain conditions to ensure that coronavirus does not spread to other parts of the state, a statement said, adding that people include labourers, students and pilgrims.

People living in containment zones, however, will not be eligible to avail the service, the minister said.

In case of the people, stuck in cities having police commissionerates, and desirous to return to their home districts/talukas by ST buses, they will have to get permission of the nodal officer concerned (deputy commissioner of police) for undertaking the journey, it said.

At other places, the people willing to travel to their homes will need to secure permission from district collectors/tehsildars, the statement said.

A list of 22 such people will be submitted to the ST by the nodal officer concerned and a bus will be made available accordingly.

Those wishing to travel at personal-level can avail a permission through a portal that will be activated on Monday onwards, it said.

On receiving the permission, such individuals can apply for travelling online with details (and also upload the permission received). A bus will be arranged for 22 such individuals accordingly.

Parab also said that there will be only one person allowed to sit on a seat, and that each commuter will have to wear a mask and clean his/her hand while getting into the bus.

The buses will be disinfected using sanitisers and all the rules relating to social distancing will be observed during the journey.

The buses will not halt at any eatery or food joint during its run given the lockdown and hence, the passengers should arrange for their food accordingly.

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