A day after the Odisha government allowed operation of bus services in category A districts, State Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera on Thursday said that a detailed guidelines will be issued soon.
According to Behera, the department will soon release a SOP to ensure that all the Covid-19 protocols are thoroughly followed, during operation of bus services, by the operators as well as passengers.
The SOP will be provided by the Regional Transport Officers to all the bus operators in the districts falling under Category A where lockdown restrictions have been relaxed by the State government.
“The State government has permitted bus services (inter-district) in the districts falling under category A. The bus services will not be allowed in category B districts as of now,” said Behera.
Behera further said that the use of masks by passengers and bus staff will be made mandatory and the bus operators will be asked to ensure that they carried passengers as per the seating capacity only.
Any kind of violation will attract strict action, the Transport minister said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Odisha government extended the partial lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of Covid infection in the State, till July 16 (6 am).
As many as 20 districts have been categorized in group A where Test Positivity Rate (TPR) is less than 5 per cent. Those include- Angul, Dhenkanal, Keonjhar, Sundargarh, Jharsuguda, Bargarh, Sambalpur, Deogarh, Kalahandi, Balangir, Nuapada, Sonepur, Ganjam, Gajapati, Kandhamal, Boudh, Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Rayagada.
The rest 10 districts have been grouped into category B where the TPR is above 5 per cent. Those include- Nayagarh, Puri, Khordha, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Jajpur, Kendrapada, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak and Balasore.
All shops in category A districts will be allowed to operate from 6 am to 6 pm, as per the July guidelines issued by the State government.