HYDERABAD: In a major relaxation from the lockdown restrictions, the Telangana government on Monday gave the green signal to the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) to resume its services in all the green and orange zones from tomorrow, May 19th, Tuesday. In adherence to the Centre’s guidelines, buses will however not be operated in the containment zones or the red zones. As a result, all the RTC buses, which were confined to the depots, will now be hitting the roads once again in the safe zones from May 19th.
However, people of Hyderabad will have to wait for some more time to hope to board the TSRTC buses as the state capital is classified as a red zone. The Centre has declared all the metro cities in the country as red zones or containment zones due to the density of population and the high prevalence of the pandemic in some of them. According to CM KCR’s recent statement, there are four containment zones in Hyderabad.
Despite clearing the way for the resumption of bus services in green and orange zones, the state government wants to go ahead with a calibrated approach keeping in view the fact that the Coronavirus pandemic is still not entirely under control across the country. As part of it, the government has decided to resume the operations of public transportation in the state with only 50-percent occupancy in the buses. There will be modifications in the seating arrangements to ensure social distancing for the commuters, which is essential in the containment of the dreaded virus. The RTC management has also been directed to keep sanitsers available for the safety of the passengers.
All the RTC employees will embark on their duties only after going through thermal screening. State Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar will formally submit a detailed report to the Chief Minister in Monday’s cabinet meeting about the TSRTC’s preparedness on resuming the operations from Tuesday.
On the other hand, the state cabinet is also expected to take a decision on ticket fare hike to cope with the huge losses the corporation has incurred due to lockdown. As the spread of the virus is more pronounced in the neighboring states, the Telangana government may not grant permission for the operation of inter-state bus services so soon. The Centre, as part of this fresh guidelines, has given the freedom to the states to take a decision on both intra-state and inter-state bus services.