Amid a spike in COVID-19 cases, Delhi Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot on Saturday said passengers can travel on all seats of public transport buses from November 1, and cautioned that travellers will have to wear face masks and maintain physical distancing.
Gahlot, however, said no passengers will be allowed to travel in standing position. With the rise in the number of COVID-19 cases, Delhi government had in May fixed the number of maximum passenger in Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) and Cluster scheme buses to 20.
Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who is the chairman of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) recently gave approval to Delhi government's proposal to run the public transport buses with full seating capacity.
In a tweet, Gahlot said bus travellers will require to wear face masks and appealed to people to observe proper physical distancing in view of the COVID-19 threat.
"The passengers can travel on all the seats of buses from tomorrow. No passenger, however, will be allowed to travel in standing position. Wearing a mask is compulsory and I appeal to all the travellers to maintain social distance to check the spread of Coronavirus," Gahlot tweeted.
With the opening of various economic activities and government and private establishments in the city, people were forced to wait in long queues often at crowded bus stands, due to the restricted number of passengers in buses.
The number of DTC and Cluster buses seat up to 40 passengers. There are around 3,800 buses run by the DTC and over 2,600 run under Cluster scheme of Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System.
The DDMA chairman had also approved the proposal of the Transport department to resume inter-state bus service.
The inter-state bus services was stopped after the imposition of lockdown in March, resulting in shutting down of inter-state bus terminals at Anand Vihar, Sarai Kale Khan and Kashmiri Gate.
The Transport department is preparing a standard operating procedure for opening the interstate bus services. It is expected to begin next week, officials said.