Published:  12:03 AM, 04 May 2021

Transport workers' demand and COVID-19

The transport workers are pushing for their demand to permit bus services amid the ongoing lockdown, which has already been extended until 16 May for all good reasons. It is the right decision considering the COVID-19 situation in neighbouring India.

Under the extended lockdown the ban on inter-district bus services along with ferry and train will continue, but bus operators will be able to do their business within the city limits.

That is a humanitarian gesture on the part of the government for the bus owners and workers despite the relaxed lockdown rules. Indeed it will help commuters from all walks of life, but it keeps open the risk of new infection. Then border with neighbouring India has been closed for 14 days to check the possible entry of the new deadliest variant of the virus which has claimed thousands of life in New Delhi.

Thus they must accept the ground reality and the government's gesture despite hardship which too has been faced by even blue collar workers and members of the media. Life comes first. The operators and workers of the bus services that will operate within the cities must ensure strict maintenance of health rules by ensuring social distance and sanitising their vehicles as well as passengers. It will be a good step by the concerned authorities to ensure food aid for the transport workers and their families to help overcome this critical time imposed by COVID-19.

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