Transport associations in Sindh demand resumption of bus services

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KARACHI: The operators of inter and intra-city transport in the province have demanded that the Sindh government should readily adopt standard operating procedures for the reopening of the passenger bus services as the continued suspension of this service is no more an option due to grave economic sufferings of the people associated with the sector.

According to a report in The News, the demand came on Tuesday as a joint delegation of the representative associations of inter-city and intra-city transport service in the province met Sindh Education and Labour Minister Saeed Ghani in Karachi. President Karachi Transport Ittehad Irshad Bukhari headed the delegation.

The delegation members said the operators of the bus service had kept their service halted for over one-and-half-month, showing complete confidence in the provincial government’s lockdown measures against the spread of the coronavirus.

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'Economic hardship has become unbearable'

They said the operators of the public transport were of the firm viewpoint that the lockdown orders were in the best interest of the masses to safeguard their health against the COVID-19. 

However, they said, the economic hardship of those associated with transport business had simply become unbearable, and SOPs should be adopted by the government at the earliest for the resumption of the bus service both on intra and inter-city routes.

They held out the firm assurance that once the government adopted the SOPs for the public transport sector, they would fully observe them for smooth resumption of the public transport service during the COVID-19 emergency.

The delegation members demanded that the Sindh government should readily announce economic relief package for operators and employees of the passenger bus services, and also announce if there was any further delay in the resumption of the public transport services in the province in view of the COVID-19 emergency.

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'Issues should be resolved on priority basis'

They said the operators of the passenger bus service had been under immense pressure from drivers, conductors and other workers as their earnings had completely stopped due to the lockdown measures. They said their issues should be resolved on a priority basis as part of the relief efforts of the government during the COVID-19 lockdown regime.

The labour and education minister said a comprehensive system of monitoring had been introduced for various segments of the economy, for which the government had introduced SOPs so that such businesses after reopening should stick to the conditions prescribed by the government for their operations during the COVID-19 emergency.

He said the government would not take any risk which would lead to the spread of the coronavirus infection. He said that the provincial government would soon defeat this viral epidemic owing to the untiring efforts of doctors, paramedical staff and law-enforcers, who had been at the forefront in the war against the COVID-19.

Originally published in The News