With the lockdown to contain COVID-19 pandemic being relaxed, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on May 5 asked the Transport department to do a mapping of its fleet of Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) buses in proportion to the people stranded in different places of the state 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, Sonowal said 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 department during the lockdown period, informed that his department during eight days from April 25 to May 2, moved 2090 buses to transport 32,444 passengers.
He also drew the attention of the chief minister that for the benefits of the passengers and transporters besides giving a permission of opening 45 eateries along the highways, 85 garages were permitted to be opened during the lockdown period.
He also said the ASTC, besides facilitating operation of 200 city buses, took steps for plying 284 inter-district buses.
Sonowal later visited the Prem Singh Brahma Inter-State Bus Terminus (ISBT) and talked to the passengers. He also took stock of the arrangements made by the ASTC for the operation of the fleet of buses.