The on-going pandemic has surely changed the way we used to travel. It has impacted the tour & travel industry like no other. Travellers had to take a backseat for many months and wait until the lockdown started getting lifted.
Amid the surging coronavirus cases across the country, the state governments have decided to follow certain restrictions for passengers coming from other states. After almost 7 months, the Delhi government finally reopened three interstate bus terminals (ISBTs) in the city with safety measures in place to fight Covid-19.
If you are travelling to Delhi, you need to adhere to the updated rules by the government. The government of Delhi has decided to seek the personal details of passengers arriving in Delhi via inter-state buses.
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The state government would seek the personal details of the passengers arriving in Delhi via buses from Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Uttarakhand to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.
As per a report, the Delhi government would ask the passengers about their name, age, mobile number, address and their stay in Delhi.
The Delhi government had announced the resumption of inter-state bus services from November 3 by allowing the three ISBTs — Sarai Kale Khan, Kashmiri Gate and Anand Vihar — to operate at 50 per cent of their pre-COVID capacity.
The Delhi government said it will be mandatory for the passengers to wear masks and no standing passengers will be allowed in the buses.
Delhi Transport Minister said that “The safety of both passengers and staff along with the crew are of utmost priority to us. We’ve been carefully monitoring patterns of travelling since we resumed bus services, and even though inter-state travel is a challenge, we are ensuring sanitisation at every point.”
In its standard operating procedures (SOPs), the Delhi government said that thermal checking of passengers and crew would be done at the entry point of the ISBTs while the buses would be regularly sanitised. It was advised that the buses entering the ISBTs should not be older than the 2015 model in the wake of the alarming situation of pollution in Delhi.
Apart from that, the state government has also set up rapid antigen RT-PCR test camps at the three ISBTs at the national capital to check the spread of novel coronavirus.
The three ISBTs — Sarai Kale Khan, Kashmiri Gate and Anand Vihar — used to cater to daily 3,500 trips of inter-state buses across the country. As per a report, around 85,000, 62,000 and 32,000 passengers used to arrive at Kashmiri Gate, Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan ISBTs daily before the Centre imposed a nationwide coronavirus-induced lockdown.
On a daily basis, 3,467 buses from other states used to arrive at the three ISBTs at Kashmere Gate (1,636) Anand Vihar (1,210) and Sarai Kale Khan (621). Most buses — 1,519 — are run by Uttar Pradesh, followed by 757 by Haryana and 313 by Uttarakhand. Delhi Transport Corporation doesn’t operate any interstate bus as its entire fleet runs on CNG which is not easily available in other states.
The number of buses from each state was limited to 50% of the Pre-Covid count till November 15. The buses had to produce a certificate of sanitisation at the place of origin for getting entry into Delhi’s ISBTs. In case any passenger or bus staffer develops Covid symptoms, officials of Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (DTIDC), which manages the ISBTs, was to be informed immediately.
Wearing face masks at all times is mandatory for everybody and only passengers found asymptomatic are allowed inside ISBTs. In case of any doubt, passengers will have to undergo a rapid antigen or RT-PCR test at special camps set up at the ISBTs. Passengers can also get voluntarily tested in these camps.
The COVID-19 RT-PCR test is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in upper and lower respiratory specimens (such as nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs, sputum, lower respiratory tract aspirates, bronchoalveolar lavage, and nasopharyngeal wash/aspirate) collected from individuals suspected of COVID-19
Social distancing is followed on the premises and passengers have to use alternate benches in the waiting areas. DTIDC has ensured thermal scanning of bus drivers, conductors, helpers, etc, and sanitization of every vehicle before departure from the ISBTs.
If you are planning to travel to Delhi via bus, then we suggest you keep all the above mentioned rules in mind and also opt for bus booking online in advance for hassle-free travel.