Even as the state government has allowed Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) to operate with full capacity, figures show that people are still reluctant to travel owing to rising Covid cases in the district and Vidarbha.
The MSRTC is operating its buses since August 20 with 50% capacity (22 passengers). However, on September 17, the state government allowed buses to operate with 100% capacity. It was expected that the decision would benefit the biggest public transporter to overcome its heavy losses by increasing the number of passengers.
However, Anil Amnerkar, depot manager of Ganeshpeth’s main bus stand, said, “The flow of passengers is sluggish even now. We started implementing the decision from Saturday but due to the two-day janata curfew, traffic was poor. We expected good traffic from Monday but there was no crowd.”
Amnerkar said, “On Monday till evening, of the 300 trips from depots in the region, 1,800 passengers travelled. If one considers even 22 passengers per bus, then over 5,500 passengers should have travelled. With 100% capacity, it would be over 10,000 passengers.”
Amnerkar cited the spread of Covid-19 cases in the region as the prime reason for people’s reluctance. “There are no social events like marriages. Besides, a major chunk of the passengers are teachers and students but as colleges and schools are closed, there is no crowd. Due to virus spread, people are not visiting their relatives too.”
As per official figures, on September 18, 2,300 passengers travelled from Ganeshpeth bus stand, followed by 1,085 on September19, 1,100 on September 20, and 1,800 on September 21.
(With inputs from TimesOfIndia)