Maha forms task force to study transport service issues

(Eds: Adds details) Mumbai, Jun 24 (PTI) The Maharashtra government has set up a 13-member task force to study problems related to transport services in the state and suggest measures on how to run them effectively in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

So far, there is limited movement of public transport services in the state to contain the spread of coronavirus.

'The task force will study and suggest various measures about transport services in the state, and to avoid the spread of coronavirus,' as per a government resolution (GR) issued on Tuesday.

The task force will be headed by state Transport Minister Anil Parab and transport commissioner will be its secretary, the GR said.

Various bodies of goods and passenger transporters have been given representation in the task force.

Maharashtra is the worst affected by COVID-19 in the country.

Till Tuesday, the state reported 1,39,010 COVID-19 cases and 6,531 deaths due to the disease.

Under 'Mission Begin Again', the state government wanted to form a task force to study and resolve issues related to transport services.

Meanwhile, sources in transport department said the first meeting of the task force will be held at the office of transport commissioner in south Mumbai on June 26. Members can also join online, they said.

The task force will study issues concerning public transport system in the state, various problems faced by it and suggest various measures.

The task force has been asked to suggest measures about other transport-related issues which will come to fore from time to time, they said.

Members of the task force form the government's side incude secretaries of departments of Transport and PWD, ADGP (traffic), managing director of MSRTC and general manager of BEST (Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport) undertaking.

Transporter bodies like Maharashtra Rajya Truck Tempo Tankers Bus Vahatuk Mahasangh, Maharashtra Truck Tempo owners association, Bus and Car owners confederation of India, and Mumbai bus malak Sanghatana have been given representation on the task force, besides representatives of unions of taxi, auto rickshaws and aggregator taxi drivers.

Presently, the MSRTC has been operating its services in a restricted manner within districts. BEST undertaking operates buses across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR).

Under 'unlock 1', regular and aggregator taxis and autorickshaws have been permitted to ferry only two passengers working in essential and emergency services.

In Mumbai, operations of suburban trains resumed earlier this month, but only those people working in essential and emergency services are allowed to avail their services.

Vehicles carrying goods, however, have been allowed to ply since April. PTI KKGK NSK NSK