AGARTALA: Acute shortage of passenger vehicles has caused inconveniences to passengers across Tripura during this lockdown period. The few private commercial public vehicles that are plying have also failed to ease the situation.
In a bid to ease the logjam over the public transport system, the Tripura government has instructed two State government undertakings — the Tripura Urban Transport Corporation and the Tripura Road Transport Corporation — to start bus services on different roads. But strangely enough, the order does not mention any specific date as to when these buses will start plying.
On the other hand, the main obstacle over resumption of the public transport system is the mandatory norm to maintain social distance while plying these vehicles. The government had instructed the transporters to carry passengers half of its capacity to maintain social distancing; but the private transporters say it is not viable and have demanded a hike in the bus fares.
Though the Transport department had held a meeting with the representatives of various transporters' associations and workers' association yet it failed to resolve the issue. The transporters demanded either hike in fares or subsidy to run the vehicles. But the government did not accept either of these proposals.
Meanwhile, a small number of commercial vehicles like auto-rickshaws and small cars have started moving on the roads; but the drivers are charging fares that are double than the normal. On the other hand, these commercial vehicles are too less in comparison to the demand; and more often than not the arbitrary fare hikes lead to commotions between the passengers and the drivers.