The Telangana government on Wednesday decided to exempt buses of state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) from night curfew which is in force across the state as part of Covid-19 induced lockdown.
The RTC buses will now ply across the state round the clock. However, city services in Hyderabad will continue to remain suspended for some more days.
The decisions were taken by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao at a meeting he held with Transport Minister P. Ajay Kumar and top officials.
The RTC buses had returned on the roads on May 19 after nearly two months. However, the occupancy is only 39 per cent.
Officials informed the Chief Minister that the main reason for low occupancy was night curfew as buses were plying only during day time. Since this is peak summer, passengers would like to travel either in the morning or during the nights.
The officials said every day RTC should earn Rs 11 to 12 crore. During summer and marriage season the income goes up to Rs 15 crore. However, currently it is earning only Rs 2 crore a day.
After detailed discussion, the Chief Minister ordered that RTC buses be exempted from curfew restriction. The buses will be allowed to reach their destination during the curfew times. Taxis, auto-rickshaws and other passenger vehicles will be allowed at the bust stands. Police will not stop passengers having the bus ticket to travel by their own cars.
It was also decided that the buses coming to Hyderabad from various parts of the state will now drop passengers at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), the biggest bus station in the state. Since the RTC resumed its services, the buses were being operated till Jubliee Bus Station (JBS) in Secunderabad.
Since Hyderabad city has a large number of Covid-19 cases, it was decided not to operate city buses for some more days.