After gap of 6 months, KTC buses zoom towards M’rashtra

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Panaji: The Kadamba Transport Corporation Limited (KTCL) resumed its interstate bus services to Maharashtra on Tuesday by covering short-distance routes of less than 100 kilometres after a gap of almost six months.

The Maharashtra government permitted the interstate buses to restart the operations, which were stopped in March after the enforcement of the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The KTCL restarted its operations on two routes of Sawantwadi and Vengurla, which are located within a radius of 70-80 km from Panaji.

The KTCL, which sees around 3,000 passengers daily on its 25 routes, operated through a fleet of nearly 30 buses, got the nod from the neighbouring state’s transport authority earlier this week to run the interstate buses.

On the first day, three buses left the Panaji depot – around 9.45 am for Sawantwadi, and at 7.10 am and 8.10 am for Vengurla with 30 per cent occupancy, a KTCL

official said. The KTCL official said it has been made mandatory for passengers to follow the COVID-19 prevention protocols like wearing of mask, undergoing thermal screening and adhering to the social distancing guidelines. The buses will run without any restrictions on seat occupancy, with no standing passengers allowed.

The official said bus services to Malvan, Kolhapur and on Sangli routes have not been resumed yet owing to poor demand and rise in COVID cases in these regions.

Bus services to other parts of Maharashtra will be planned later, based on the COVID situation prevailing and response on the selected medium and long distance routes, KTCL sources said.