Ahead of Diwali holidays, the state government on Friday permitted private buses to operate with full capacity and issued an SOP to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection. It has directed private bus owners not to allow passengers without masks to board their vehicles and keep sanitsers at the entrance of buses along with extra masks. As per the SOP, every passenger will be screened with a thermal gun before boarding and those with fever cough and cold will not be permitted to travel.
Drivers should ensure that proper social distancing is maintained among passengers while boarding and alighting from buses. Buses should be disinfected at the end of each journey and even reservation offices should be cleaned and sanitized, it was stated. As per the guidelines, permit holders of buses will have to maintain proper records of disinfection of their buses. The state government has also warned action against permit holders under Motor Vehicle Act 1988, Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 and Disaster Management Act 2005, in case the SOP is violated. Private operators have been seeking to ply buses with full capacity, especially after the state government permitted the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) and Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) to so.