500 passengers return from Gujarat and Maharashtra
Jamshedpur, March 23: The administration on Monday made arrangement for more than 12 special buses to take hundreds of stranded passengers to different districts of the state as inter-district public transport closed operation with lockdown imposed across the state.
Nearly 500 passengers had arrived by trains at the Tatanagar Station on Sunday morning and caught in the ‘Janata Curfew’ somehow managed to reach the city’s inter-state bus terminus at Sitaramdera hoping to catch buses for different district. However, they could not find buses and waited till today morning to get buses to their destination.
Their wait became desperate when they were told about government decision of lockdown which means no buses would ply to any parts of the state from Jamshedpur.
“Several passengers were left in lurch at the bus terminus roundabout which connects city with Mango in the morning. It was then that the administration intervened and gave us special permission to take these passengers to different districts,” said an official of the Jamshedpur Bus Owners Association (JBOA)—an umbrella body of the long distance bus operators.
The bus association senior functionary said that most of the passengers had arrived from places like Gujarat and Maharashtra and had alighted at Tatanagar as they usually do get connecting buses to different districts from the city.
In view of corona virus, plying of all inter-state buses from the steel city have been suspended from midnight. The ban on operation of long-distance bus services from the Sitaramdera bus terminus and other parts of the city will remain effective till further notice.
East Singhbhum senior superintendent of police, Anoop Birtharay said that over 500 buses leave the Sitaramdera bus terminus to neighbouring states like Bengal, Odisha and also Bihar.
“Following directions from the government we have ordered the long distance bus operators not to ply to any destinations in Bengal, Odisha or Bihar and have decided not to allow any bus from these three states to enter into the city,” said Birtharay.
The senior SP pointed out that the restriction on the operation of long distance bus services has been made to ensure social distancing so as to stop the spread of dangerous coronavirus.
Jamshedpur Bus Owners Welfare Association’s (JBOWA) official confirmed that the association has stopped operation following an order from the district administration since midnight.
“We have no choice but to follow the orders. We have been asked to stop operation for the inter-state bus services from midnight, but it is not known for how long days the operation will remain suspended. We will cooperate as this is an indispensable need in view of checking the spread of coronavirus,” said the official.