Buses, tempos, trucks to remain off roads in Assam till

Tuesday (Eds: With latest inputs) Guwahati, Mar 22 (PTI) All types of commercial vehicles, including buses and tempos, will remain off the roads in Assam till Tuesday in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the state's apex transport association announced on Sunday.

The All Assam Motor Transport Association (AAMTA), the apex body with around 20,000 vehicles registered with it, will evaluate the situation on Tuesday and will take a further decision.

'This is a very serious situation. We need to break the chain to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus. If we can do that, then we will be saved. That is why we have decided to suspend our operations across Assam till March 24,' AAMTA secretary general Pradip Das told PTI.

With their vehicles completely off the roads on Sunday amid the 'Janata Curfew' call, the association's members will be suspending their operations for three days in a row, he added.

'Our drivers and handymen are not willing to run the vehicles. They are scared of the infection as they are very vulnerable. Despite our heavy losses, we have taken this drastic step to serve the people of Assam,' Das said.

AAMTA's member vehicles include autorickshaws, tempos, four-wheeler carriers, buses and trucks.

Meanwhile, the state transport department made arrangements for the smooth movement of passengers who arrived at the airports and railway stations on Sunday by providing around 80 vehicles for transporting them to their respective destinations.

An official statement said that arrangements are also being made at the ISBT in Guwahati for sending the passengers to other districts after 9 pm, following screening by health department officials.

'In view to contain outbreak of coronavirus, Transport Department has issued an order to prohibit all inter-state passenger vehicles (contract carriages, stage carriages, taxi cabs, maxi cabs) to and from Assam up to March 31, 2020,' it added.

However, the restriction will not be applicable to goods vehicles, personal vehicles, vehicles used for maintaining essential services and those on government duty, the statement said. PTI TR SOM SOM