The city buses in Guwahati are seen to be flouting COVID-19 protocols by running with full passengers. The District Transport department had on earlier issued guidelines for the city buses to ply on the roads with 50 percent passengers and to maintain a social distance but it has been witnessed that the buses are plying on the roads carrying full passengers.
While asked to a bus driver as to why they carry full passengers despite the government issued guidelines to them, the driver said that running a bus with 50 percent passengers is not possible. “We also have to run our family. How will we manage if we run the buses with only 30 or 50 percent passengers? We also have to give a percentage to the owners. The owners take their share, they don’t see what is the income. They are not bothered for us,” the driver said.
Moreover, the petrol-diesel prices have touched almost Rs. 100, this is the additional burden on us that we have to bear, the driver said. “The passengers also do not follow the norms. They board the bus even after they see that the seating capacity is already full. If they don’t follow the norms what can we do? We have to carry the passengers if they board the bus, we can’t let them get down after boarding the bus,” he added.
On the other hand, the social distancing norm went for a toss in Guwahati city buses. No social distancing has been maintained by the public.
It may be mentioned that the state government has imposed curfew in Guwahati from 5 pm to 5 am and before that the public have to reach their destination by hook or by crook and therefore, violating all the COVID-19 protocols they board the bus without maintaining any social distance.
It is a concern for the citizens now as who is responsible for all these- the public, the government, or the city bus owners who don’t have any other option as they have to earn their bread and butter.
On the one hand, the COVID-19 cases are increasing at an alarming rate in Guwahati and on the other, the government has issued such guidelines which can’t be maintained perfectly.