All precautionary measures have been taken for the safety of passengers who travel in KSRTC buses, KSRTC Mangaluru Divisional Controller (DC) Arun S N said on Friday.
Thermal scanning is used for screening passengers, drivers and conductors, he replied to a query from public during a phone-in-programme organised by Prajavani, sister concern publication of DH, at PV-DH office in Balmatta.
Besides mouth masks, use of sanitisers before boarding the bus has been made mandatory. To ensure social distancing, buses are operated with less than 50% capacity, he added.
Arun said buses were sanitised after every trip. No case of Covid-19 being spread while travelling in the KSRTC buses had been reported in the district so far. Every week, a mask and a sanitiser is supplied to the bus conductors and drivers.
As according to the guidelines from government and KSRTC MD, the corporation is operating from district to taluk headquarters and to hoblis. In order to operate long-distance buses, KSRTC has adopted need-based approach,
On an average 90 to 110 buses operate 130 to 140 trips. The KSRTC also had relaunched sleeper coach bus service in night to Bengaluru, Mysuru, Ballari and Belagavi. Karnataka Sarige buses are operated to Hubballi, Bagalkote, Dammur, Kabbargi and Muddebihal during the night hours.
The night bus services begin before 7 pm from Mangaluru. Seven JnNURM buses are being operated to different destinations in and around Mangaluru as well. Arun said food parcels for passengers travelling in buses without any scheduled stops are collected from hotels by informing them in advance.
The division had taken precautionary measures to sanitise the buses using sodium hypochlorite solution and dettol. The division has around 1,828 conductors and drivers. Around 1,250 drivers and conductors were stranded more than 250-km away from the headquarters during the lockdown.
“There was huge pressure on available conductors and drivers, to ferry stranded labourers to different destinations. With the relaxation of lockdown, many drivers and conductors had returned to the duty,” he said. Arun added that the inter-state buses were yet to begin its operations. The state government has issued restrictions on the inter-state movement, he replied while answering a query.
Loss during lockdown
KSRTC Mangaluru division has incurred a loss of Rs 24 cr in the month of April while Rs 28 crore to Rs 30 crore in the month of May. May is the month where the demand for buses is high.
Owing to lockdown, people could not visit various places and buses could not be operated. About Rs 2.3 crore is pending to be released by government for ferrying stranded labourers to their destinations free of charge, Arun added.
Rising to the occasion, KSRTC has begun manufacturing masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Around 2,000 masks were stitched in the division of which 700 to 800 were distributed to the public.