Moneycontrol PRO
you are here: HomeNewsIndia

Not feasible to run buses carrying only 20 passengers at a time: Pvt bus operators

Associations of bus operators said that either the government should pay subsidy for running the buses or it may requisition the vehicles for running these in different routes.

April 29, 2020 / 10:34 PM IST

Operators of private buses expressed their helplessness in providing services in COVID- 19-free green zones in the state as announced by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday, claiming that carrying only 20 passengers at a time would not be feasible to run the vehicles.

Associations of bus operators said that either the government should pay subsidy for running the buses or it may requisition the vehicles for running these in different routes.

The chief minister announced that intra-district private bus services would commence in green zones of the state and each of the vehicles would carry only 20 passengers at a time for maintaining social distancing norms.

Coronavirus India News LIVE Updates

Bus Minibus Samannoy Samity (coordination committee) general secretary Rahul Chatterjee said that plying a 50 or 60-seater bus with only 20 persons would lead to huge financial loss to owners, who are already facing a grim situation owing to the lockdown.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

View more
How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

View more

"It will not be possible to cover the cost of fuel even if a bus has to be plied with only one-third of its seating capacity, leave alone staff salary," Chatterjee said.

He said that either the Transport department has to revise the fares accordingly or requisition the buses and run those on their own, making a daily payment to the owners as is done during general elections.

Joint Council of Bus Syndicates general secretary Tapan Banerjee said that it would not be feasible to run the buses with only a few passengers and that too in intra-district routes only.

He said that most of the routes outside the major cities are inter-district and claimed that there will not be even 20 passengers for a bus if these are plied in very short routes in the rural or mofussil areas.

"The government should calculate the cost of running a bus per kilometre and then come to a decision on it," he said, adding that it has to pay subsidy to the owners if it plans to run bus services with only 20 passengers. He said that the government should discuss these issues with the owners and take a pragmatic decision.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
ISO 27001 - BSI Assurance Mark