Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Monday, granted permission for the resumption of bus services by Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and private travel services. At present, the CM has given orders to commence inter-district travel in AP, in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs. The official date for the same will be announced soon.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy said that the bus services must commence only after all the stranded migrant workers have been ferried back to their hometowns. Directives were given to officials to apply for inter-state travel permissions for the same. Likewise, instructions have also been given to bring back stranded migrants of Andhra Pradesh from Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad among other cities.
Once the bus services resume in Andhra Pradesh, the Chief Minister mentioned that all physical distancing norms must be followed with strict sanitisation procedures in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus. In line with the preparations made by the APSRTC, Mr. Reddy stated that buses must ply with only 50% occupancy, not exceeding 20 passengers to ensure physical distance. The migrants brought back from various cities to AP will have to undergo tests at the bus depots before they can proceed to their respective homes. Further, the complete details of passengers travelling from AP to other destinations will also be recorded. Specifically, address details of the passengers in AP, and their travel destinations will be recorded to conduct contact-tracing if the need arises.
Throwing light on the latest directive, Minister of Transport and I&PR Perni Venkataramaiah (Perni Nani) stated that the APSRTC buses have been modified to ensure adequate physical distance between passengers. If the design modifications are not possible due to time constraints, the online seat booking software will be modified to block seats from getting booked. Further, signs will be made on specific seats that need to remain vacant. As per the latest guidelines, no passenger will be allowed to board buses without face masks. The buses will be plied ‘non-stop’, only from depot to depot.