New Delhi: The three ISBTs which resumed services here after a gap of nearly seven months due to COVID-19 pandemic saw a small crowd of passengers and lesser number of buses on Tuesday.
The Delhi government had on Monday announced resumption of the inter-state bus services from November 3 by allowing the three ISBTs to operate at 50 per cent of their pre-COVID capacity.
Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot said on the first day of opening of inter-state services, 542 buses from the neighbouring states arrived at the ISBTs by 6 pm.
“The operations at the three ISBTs, specially implementation of safety measures against COVID-19, were smooth although the rush of passengers was less,” he said.
Anand Vihar Inter State Bus Terminal (ISBT) received 257 buses followed by Kashmiri Gate (242) and Saray Kale Khan (43) buses, the minister said.
A senior official of the transport department said the number of buses and passengers are expected to rise manifold in coming days for which arrangements have been but in place.
“The number of buses arrived at ISBTs from Haryana, Uttarkhand, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and other states on Tuesday was just about 20 per cent of the usual traffic in pre-COVID times,” he said.
The three ISBTs used to cater to daily 3,500 trips of inter-state buses from UP, Haryana, Punjab, Uttarkhand and other states, and 2,000 trips of local buses, before they were shut down due to lockdown to check spread of COVID-19 in March.
Meanwhile, the buses were sanitised at the ISBTs and thermal scanning of passengers and bus crew was also conducted, officials said.
Use of face mask was strictly enforced on the ISBT premises and no passenger travelling standing was allowed in the buses. Social distancing was ensured on the ground, at boarding time as well as inside the buses through markings, they said.
In addition to these measures, testing camps for rapid and RT-PCR tests have also been set up at the ISBTs to deal with asymptomatic passengers identified through thermal screening.
Regular announcements and sensitisation of passengers about COVID-19 precautions through audio-visual communication was also being undertaken, they added.