Haryana Resumes Interstate Bus Service After Two Months of Lockdown

Haryana resumed inter-state public transport services from Wednesday after remaining suspended for over two months in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown, a senior official said.

As the scope of relaxations has been further widened in accordance with the Centre's guidelines, the inter-state bus service resumed on a few routes Wednesday, he said, adding most routes would be operational by Thursday.

Barring Delhi, which has ordered sealing of its borders for a week in the wake of the rising coronavirus cases in the city, the Haryana Roadways buses will ply to other states like Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

"Barring Delhi, we have resumed our services. We have sent details of routes to various depots and while we operated some buses today, the rest will be operated tomorrow," State Transport Department Director-General Virender Dahiya told PTI over the phone.

Haryana Roadways officials said bookings for only 30 seats will be done in each bus to adhere to social distancing norms.

The Haryana Roadways had resumed the bus service within the state on May 15, the first time since the lockdown was announced in March.

The Haryana government on Wednesday issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in accordance to the guidelines issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs regarding inter-state travel in buses of the Haryana Roadways.

The passengers intending to undertake inter-state travel must carry their identity proofs and tickets, in either electronic mode or physical form. Apart from this, the bus staff as well as passengers must have Arogya Setu app downloaded in their mobile phones.

Giving details, an official statement said it must be ensured that the staff and passengers are free of any COVID-19 symptoms.

"If any such person boards the bus, he or she must immediately be de-boarded and sent home and the people in contact with him or her must be home quarantined for 14 days," it said.

The buses for ferrying passengers should be fully sanitised inside out. In addition, sanitiser bottles must be kept inside the buses at all times and must be used by the bus staff from time to time at regular intervals, the statement said.

"Wearing of masks by everyone onboard a bus and on bus stands must be strictly adhered to by all and passengers should carry sanitisers with them," it said, adding thermal screening of passengers must be ensured by the staff during the boarding process.

"No passenger should be allowed to board if he or she is running high temperature. The staff doing thermal screening must be wearing PPE kits while doing the screening and should sanitise themselves properly and adequately," the statement said.