ASTC Buses Carry 12,000 Stranded People on Sunday: Chandra Mohan Patowary

Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said more than 12,000 stranded people in the state are being ferried in 800 ASTC buses on Sunday, the second-day of the three-day movement allowed by the state government during the lockdown.

The minister said that because of the lockdown, many people were stuck in different parts of Assam and as per the Ministry of Home Affairs guidelines, it has been decided to allow inter-district movement during April 25-27.

Patowary said over 300 buses plied on the first day from different districts, carrying over 5,000 stranded people.

"The total number of registered applicants through 104 helpline number was 41,651. The lines were closed on midnight of April 23, 2020. On April 25, 2020, the Transport Department put 323 buses into service for facilitating the travel of around 5,000 registered passengers for short distance journeys in 18 districts," he added.

Patowary said the social-distancing norms are being maintained and the buses are carrying up to 50 per cent of their capacity.

The Transport minister said Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) busses have ferried around 1.4 lakh people across the state during three days from 'Janata Curfew' last month till the start of lockdown.

Addressing a press conference, he said the Transport Department had launched an operation for transportation of the people arriving at airports and railway stations on March 22, 23 and 24 from outside the state.

"From the Janata Curfew to the beginning of the lockdown, the Transport Department arranged communication for 1.11 lakh people across the state. In addition to this, almost 28,000 passengers coming in special flights and trains were helped to reach their respective homes," he added.

Private bus operators in Assam suspended their operations during the 'Janata Curfew'. Patowary said the Transport Department had arranged 80 vehicles for facilitating the smooth movement of those passengers who arrived at the airports and railway stations to their respective destinations on the day of 'Janata Curfew' on March 22.

"ASTC had given more than 500 buses covering various airports and railway stations to provide transportation to people and to avoid public inconveniences. ASTC had received passengers of 20 trains and 160 flights.

"Approximately 16,000 people who arrived by air and 12,000 people who arrived by rail were assisted from various airports and railway stations of the state after proper screening by the health teams," he added.

The ASTC has also been extending support to manage the situation arising from the pandemic in the state by providing 211 buses, which are now operating in coordination with district administrations, hospitals, police and municipal bodies, Patowary said.

"Of these 211 buses, 39 buses are operating with the Health Department and facilitating the movement of health officials," he added.