Nagpur: Already in the red, the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) took a hit on Day-1 of lockdown and suffered a loss of Rs 25 lakh. The weeklong stricter restrictions have been imposed by the district administration to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The ST buses were already running with less occupancy post restrictions imposed on Saturdays and Sundays. The fresh 8-day lockdown further reduced the bus trips by 50%. Prior to the lockdown-type restrictions, the Nagpur Division had been operating over 900 trips to various parts of the region. On Saturdays and Sundays, these were brought down to 600 and on Monday, the first day of lockdown, 300 trips were planned but even then there were not many travelers.
According to the Nagpur Divisional Controller, the division daily earns Rs 42 lakh from passenger tickets, but on Monday this was set to drop to Rs 15-16 lakh. Similar was the scene in other divisions in the region.
A round of Ganeshpeth Bus Stand revealed that buses remained parked at the depot for a longer period to get passengers and on average there were 10-15 persons in each bus. “Before imposing restrictions, this figure was 30-35. Due to the curbs, movement of people and occupancy may drop further. At least 35,000 passengers travel in ST buses daily from Ganeshpeth Bus Stand.
Private bus operators were also hit hard on Day-1. They curtailed the operations by 50%. “If police allowed people to travel, we hope the operations will be normal. Today, fewer buses were in operation as many long-distance passengers cancelled tickets and many did not turn up fearing police action. We will have to wait for a week to improve the situation,” said one of the travels.