Karnataka deploys buses to ferry 3 lakh passengers to various destinations

Bengaluru, (Asian independent) Amid surge of Covid cases and ahead of the 16-day shutdown commencing from Tuesday night, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister Lakshman Savadi on Tuesday said that the state government has made arrangements to transport nearly three lakh passengers.

After taking stock of arrangements made by the state-run transport corporation at the Majestic bus stand here, Savadi, who holds charge of the Transport Department, told reporters that the government would take all steps to send all those who want to return to their hometowns.

“We are ready to run our buses in full capacity. We have total capacity transporting three lakh passengers from Bengaluru to various destinations in the state,” he said.

The unprecedented surge in Covid cases and imposition of 16-day shutdown across the state has forced migrants and low-earning jobholders to rethink about their stay in Bengaluru.

Blue-collar employees think that they will be better off if they are with their families as in their hometown as they can work as agriculture labourers and feed themselves, while in some cases, even white-collar employees who have decided to leave Bengaluru.

“Sudden burst of Covid cases in Bengaluru is truly worrisome. With the health sector not able to handle pressure, it is better we can be with our near and dear ones,” 28-year-old Vikas Joshi told IANS, as he left Bengaluru for his hometown Yedrami village in Kalaburagi district, almost 800 km away.

He added that he being the only son, his parents want him back with them. “Only option is to come back is once Covid subsides and population is fairly well covered under the vaccination drive…,” he said.

In some areas, scenes of panic buying of groceries were witnessed but by and large various localities in Bengaluru remained calm about shutdown. “For 16-day shutdown how much can anyone buy and store? In any case, four hours period is available with us to buy some essentials like milk and groceries, which is enough,” 35-year-old Rekha Haadimani, a resident of Vidyaranyapura and mother of two children, said.

According to her, even if we buy groceries, we need vegetables and milk and curds for which again one will have to come out, so the government may not shutdown completely.

“I had bought much more than I needed during my first lockdown that lasted about three months. It was waste of time and money. Even during first lockdown, grocery shops in Bengaluru were open. This time at least neighbourhood shops in concerned localities have already posted their numbers on resident welfare groups trough which we can place an order and procure it. This time traders are much more organised and residents too,” she said.

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