PHOTO: Reuters/File

Travel plans during Eid in jeopardy

Govt suspends public transport for city, inter-city travel from tomorrow in bid to curb Covid spread

Our Correspondent May 08, 2021

Many people ready to go home for Eid holidays may have to cancel their travel plans as the Sindh government has banned public transport within the city, inter-city or inter-province.

According to a notification issued by the Sindh Public Transport and Mass Transit Secretary Shariq Ahmed the ban is meant to prevent further spread of pandemic novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19). However, the ban is not applicable to private cars, taxis and rickshaws with people traveling in 50 percent capacity under SOPs.

Each year, there is an exodus of people near the Eid holidays to go home for celebrating the festive occasion. From migrant workers to senior officers and executives, people head to hometowns in trains, buses and automobiles to enjoy Eid with their near and dear ones.

However, a large section of homeward-bound travellers are likely to spend the holidays in lockdown. The notification said that in pursuance of the order issued by the home department additional chief secretary regarding ban up to the evening of May 16, 2021, to take further measures to reduce mobility movement during forthcoming Eidul Fitr and the guidelines stay home - stay safe for the prevention of general public from the pandemic disease.

According to the notification, the operative parts of the order issued by the home department are as under.

Ban shall be effective for all kinds of public transport within city, inter-city, and inter-provincial with effect from May 9, 2021 till the evening of May 16, 2021.

Exceptions include private vehicles with half seating capacity, taxis, cabs, rickshaws for essential short distance travels meant for medical care and purchasing of essential items and with 50 percent occupancy of seats and with people observing SOPs.

Moreover, transportation of goods is exempted from the ban, the home department has said according to the notification of public transport and mass transit department. It further said that there will be strict implementation of the anti-Covid guidelines and SOPs issued at various instances for the safety of the passengers as well people on bus stands.

The notification was sent as a top priority matter to Sindh IG, commissioners of all divisions and the deputy commissioners of all districts of the province, the Additional IG of National Highways and Motorways Police, Sindh Region, DIG of traffic police, SSPs of all districts in Sindh, Provincial Transport Authority Secretary, Regional Transport Authorities of all districts of the province.