KARACHI: The Sindh Government gave the green signal to resume public and online transport services across the province on Tuesday.
This was announced by Sindh Transport Minister Awais following successful negotiations between transporters and the Sindh government.
A monitoring and inspection team has been constituted to ensure that social distancing guidelines and SOPs are followed by transporters to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
“Transport will be allowed to resume within the city from tomorrow,” said Awais, adding that all transporters will have to follow the government’s SOPs.
“If SOPs are not followed then public transport will once again be banned,” said the minister. He added that extra passengers will not be added to buses and other modes of transport.
Awais stated that action will be taken if it is discovered that masks and sanitizers are not present in any public transport vehicle. He added that the notification regarding the resumption of public transport will be issued tonight.
The provincial government has also allowed online transport services to resume operations as well, however, with proper guidelines in place. As per the SOPs, only two people in a car at a time will be allowed to travel, said the minister.
“One more person can be added in an emergency situation,” said the minister. He added that they will be allowed to resume operations on a seat by seat basis.
The Government of Sindh on Friday had stated that the standard operating procedures for public transport, including ride-hailing apps for taxis and buses, have been prepared so that commuting services can resume weeks after Prime Minister Imran Khan announced an ease in the coronavirus lockdown.
Last month, the Sindh government had refused to resume transport services while its Khyber Pakhtunkhwa counterpart had announced the reopening of all public transport, following in Punjab’s footsteps.
Meanwhile, President Karachi Transport Ittihad (KTI) Irshad Bukhari said that he was thankful to Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah for allowing transport services in the metropolis.
“After two and a half months transport is resuming,” he said, adding: “We will make it mandatory for drivers and conductors to wear masks and gloves.”
The KTI president said they would ensure that passengers were sitting a seat apart.
“A meeting of transporters has been convened to discuss the latest development,” he said.
“Everyone has been asked to follow SOPs […] If they allow anyone to sit on the roof and their vehicle is impounded we won’t help them.”-Web Desk