City bus service resumes at Kohima town

Correspondent KOHIMA, SEP 7(NPN) | Publish Date: 9/7/2020 12:30:02 PM IST

In a huge relief to the daily commuters, the city bus service in the state capital Kohima resumed Monday by following the reviewed standard operating procedure (SOP) for city buses/taxis issued by Regional Transport Authority (RTA) Kohima.

However, only a very few buses were seeing plying on the first day of the service resumption.

RTA Kohima at a meeting on September 4, 2020 held in the office chamber of additional deputy commissioner (ADC) Kohima, Lithrongla T Rutsa, reviewed SOPs for city bus and taxi operation and decided that seating arrangement in bus should be in zigzag manner leaving alternate vacant seats to maintain social distancing and disallowed standing passengers. As per the SOP, every bus should be sanitized/fumigated at the end of each day. 

Every driver and conductor should wear a face mask and also ensure that no passenger was allowed in the bus without a face mask. Hand sanitizer should be made available for passengers boarding the bus. Passengers should carry necessary fare to maintain minimum contact.

Further, in view of the current pandemic, bus fare per passenger was fixed at Rs.20 till September 30, 2020 and would be reviewed with further relaxations in the SOP.  Every bus owners were directed to ensure that a transparent barrier between the driver’s cabin and passenger area was made to avoid contact. 

Driver and conductor are to remain inside the bus and avoid group gathering or assembly at the work place.  With no scope to maintain social distancing, two-wheeler taxi services would remain suspended till further notice. 

In a taxi, only three passengers would be allowed, one beside driver and two at the backseat. Taxi fares would remain at Rs. 25 per passenger and violators would be penalized as per relevant MV Act. 

Checking would be carried out from time to time by the district administration, police and MV department. The new SOP for city bus and taxi services came into effect from September 7, 2020. Speaking to this correspondent, City Bus Owner’s Union, Kohima general secretary, Tepurakhu Visa, said that city bus service resumed in Kohima by following government SOP.

He informed the buses began operation with 50% seating capacity with a nominal charge of Rs 20 per head. Visa said the union has directed the bus drivers and bus conductors to mandatorily wear face mask and gloves while on duty. 

Following the Odd-Even system, he informed the city buses would be ferrying passenger on a daily basis.  Some of the commuters have expressed relief at the resumption of city bus in the state capital. 

One of the commuters said that resumption of bus service would save some pocket money as he had to travel for office related works every day. 

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