GUWAHATI, March 21 - The Transport department has constituted five teams at the State level to monitor the compliance of instructions to handle coronavirus.
The teams are ensuring that the instructions are being complied with by the agencies, associations, stakeholders, and at ferry ghats, bus stands, ISBT-Betkuchi, by Uber, Ola, Rapido services, auto/e-rickshaw stands, etc. The department is working closely with the passengers for enforcing precautionary measures to contain the outbreak of COVID-19.
Further, to reduce footfall, tests for learner licence and driving licence have been suspended till March 31, 2020, except for those learner licences which are expiring in between March 20 to 31, 2020.
District Transport Department officers are taking measures to encourage online payment, tax fee, etc. in order to reduce visitors in the offices.
An official press release stated that the department has ensured that public buses are not overloaded; every bus runs in optimum sitting capacity only and no standing passenger has been allowed in the buses. Official mobile numbers of all district transport officers have been displayed as helpline number/ WhatsApp number for information by public to address urgent issues related to public transport.
In its bid to prevent COVID-19 outbreak in the State, the Transport department is constantly monitoring the situation.
Extending support to the Prime Minister�s call for the �Janata Curfew� on March 22, ASTC buses, IWT ferries and private vehicles will remain suspended. As the Umananda Temple has been closed for visitors, ferry services to the temple too have been suspended by IWT. Similarly, as the Kamakhya Temple has also been shut down, ASTC buses to Kamakhya have also been suspended temporarily.
On request from the Transport department to city bus associations and other public transport associations, they have agreed to ply 50 per cent buses in rotation from March 23 until further order.
In Guwahati, the city buses are being sanitised and COVID-19 awareness posters have been pasted in the vehicles for public awareness. The vehicle owners were asked to disinfect the seats, doors, windows, handles of their buses, autorickshaws and taxis. Screening teams have been placed at ISBT, Betkuchi for infra-red thermal screening of passengers.
Face masks have been distributed among drivers, conductors and handymen. Awareness leaflets are being distributed to increase public awareness. They have also been sensitised to report any suspected case to the nearest health institution.
In case of inland water transport (IWT), all the running vessels, pontoons have been properly cleaned, sanitised and disinfected. Ferry commuters, including vessel staff, have been provided sanitary materials like hand wash/anti-septic solution for proper sanitisation of their hands. Toilets, urinals, passenger seats, railings, etc. are being sanitised on a daily basis.
Public announcement system has also been installed at ferry ghat points and announcements are being made regarding precautionary measures/steps to be taken for prevention of coronavirus.