Can’t Run Buses With 50% Passengers, Private Bus Owners’ Body Tells Odisha Govt

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Bhubaneswar: The All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association has expressed its inability to resume bus service with social distancing guidelines of the state government to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Association will decide its next course of action in a meeting on Sunday.

President of the Association Debashis Nayak said that the proposition was not viable for the private bus owners. “The government has asked us to carry 50 per cent passengers. How can we run the bus? We cannot meet the fuel expenses, leave alone paying the wage of our staff,” he added.

Nayak further said that people waiting at different stops may attack the staff for not allowing them to board the bus, which has reached the 25 passenger limit.

“In case, we allow them to board the bus, then the police will collect hefty fine from us,” he said.

He also said that the private bus owners have to take permission from Regional Transport Officer (RTO) for inter-district bus service. In case the RTO gives permission, there will be trouble if the buses from the green zone enter the restricted zone, he said.

“We will have a meeting on these issues this afternoon and inform the state government accordingly,” he added.

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