Public transport, which has been off roads since the lockdown against coronavirus was announced on March 25, will soon begin rolling, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari assured transporters today. There, however, will be some restrictions, said the minister, who handles the Road Transport and Highways portfolio. Sources said buses can start plying in the green and orange zones with half capacity post May 17, when the current phase of lockdown ends.
In a communique today, the government said Mr Gadkari, at a videoconference with the Bus and Car Operators Confederation of India, said public transport may open soon with some guidelines.
He, however, cautioned about maintaining social distance and adopting all safety measures like hand wash, sanitizing and face masks, while operating buses and cars, the government said.
The government has already offered relief from some of the restrictions, especially in green zones where there are no instances of coronavirus. The state governments, which decided on the specifics, have allowed some industrial sectors to operate and standalone shops to open.
In Delhi, Chief Minister Arvind Kejrwial has allowed standalone shops, private offices with 33 per cent workforce, self-employed people including domestic helps and technicians, to operate in non-hotspot zones.
But though partial movement of private vehicles has been allowed in these areas, in absence of public transport, not much has moved on the ground.
Mr Gadkari said he is in regular touch with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who are working overtime to uplift the economy during these difficult days of COVID-19 pandemic.