With the lockdown being relaxed, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Tuesday asked the Transport Department to do a mapping of its fleet of ASTC buses in proportion to the people stranded in different places of the state and country to ensure their safe movement.
Chairing a meeting to review the preparedness of the Transport Department to push its fleet of buses into service to transport the stranded people of the state to their respective destinations at the conference hall of Assam Skill Development Mission at Gorchuk in Guwahati.
Sonowal said that in this time of extraordinary health emergency, the Transport Department should provide qualitative services in line with the advisories given by the Health Department. Thanking the Transport Department for being on the frontline in providing emergency and essential services during the lockdown, Sonowal emphasized that the management and movement of the buses should be made judiciously to mitigate the hardships of the stranded people.
Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary giving a snapshot of different activities performed by the Transport Department during the lockdown period, told the Chief Minister that his department during eight days from April 25 to May 2, moved 2090 buses to transport 32444 number of passengers.
Talking to the reporters on the sideline of the meeting, Chief Minister Sonowal said that to ensure that no resident of Assam faces any encumbrances during the lockdown period, Government of Assam helped Food Corporation of India to bring 5 lakh MT rice to the state. He also said during the same period FCI brought 6.5 lakh MT rice for the entire Northeast. He also said that during this period besides 452 railway rakes, 44,732 goods laden trucks entered the state. Sonowal also informed the press that during lockdown period for transporting essential food stuff to different parts of the state 53118 trucks were pressed into service.
In view of the dent perpetrated by the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the economy of the state, Chief Minister Sonowal said that State government is working very sincerely to upskill the local youths to agro-economic activities.
Sonowal later visited the Prem Singh Brahma Inter-State Bus Terminus and talked to the passengers. He also took stock of the arrangements made by the ASTC for the operation of the fleet of buses.