Bus, train, flight operations exempted from night curfew

Autorickshaws, cabs will be allowed to pick up, drop passengers

Major transport services will remain largely unaffected due to the night curfew as it will not apply to operations of long-distance night buses of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) and private operators. Train and flight operations are also exempted.

The guidelines issued by the government on Wednesday also states that to and from movement of taxis and autorickshaws are permitted for pick up and drop of passengers from bus stops, railway stations and airports. The guidelines further state that passenger movement will be allowed on displaying valid tickets while travelling in autorickshaws and taxis.

KSRTC and Railways

An official of the KSRTC said, “Allowing night bus services is a big relief for the passengers. As per the existing schedule, most of the buses leave departure points by 11 p.m. Last year, we had a ridership of 26,000 per day during the Christmas and New Year seasons. This time, booking has dropped to around 12,000. Those planning to travel in night buses can travel without any difficulties as per the order of the State government. We will operate intra-State and inter-State services as per our schedule.”

Option to stay in stations

Chief PRO of SWR E. Vijaya told The Hindu that only three or four trains are operated from Bengaluru after 11 p.m and they will run as per schedule. A release from the SWR states that on an average, only 13 trains depart from and 17 trains arrive at railway stations in Bengaluru between 10 p.m and 6 a.m.

“With regard to those who are arriving from other points during curfew hours, we have decided to allow them to stay inside the stations if they find it difficult to get a taxi or an auto. They can leave stations after the curfew hours,” she said.

BMTC, Metro unaffected

BMTC officials too maintained that night curfew will not have a major impact on bus services in the city. “The number of buses operated after 11 p.m is very few. The night curfew will not have an impact on a large number of passengers,” an official said, adding that airport services to Kempegowda International Airport will run as usual even during the curfew hours.

Namma Metro services will not be affected as they are operational between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. currently.

Radhakrishna Holla, President of Karnataka State Travel Operators Association, said that night curfew is unlikely to impact the taxi business: “The guidelines say those who have valid travel tickets can book taxis during curfew hours. However, we see problems in some of the district administrations banning entry of tourists to tourism points. This is unwarranted as people have already made travel plans for the season.”

The State government’s decision to impose night curfew received mixed reactions from passengers. Avinash, a commuter, said, “The government should have announced the curfew after looking into all the aspects. First, the CM said it will start from 10 p.m and then changed it to 11 p.m. Why are they confusing the general public?”

Many on social media also raised questions about how the spread of pandemic will get contained only by imposing a night curfew . However, those who are in favour of the decision said the decision to prohibit large crowd gatherings is much needed to contain the spread of the virus.

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