As “Unlock-1” started from Monday, the East Coast Railway (ECoR) and Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) resumed their passenger services within the state after a gap of more than two months.
The OSRTC engaged 96 buses on 66 routes across the state while the ECoR operated six passenger trains.
“Initially, we have started operations to connect 22 towns within the state and more buses and routes will be added later,” Arun Bothra, CMD, OSRTC, said.
He said no standing passengers are allowed in the buses and wearing a mask has been made mandatory for all passengers. Additional cleaning measures have been put in place to disinfect the buses.
The six routes on which trains started operating are: Bhubaneswar-Berhampur, Bhubaneswar-Bhadrak, Sambalpur-Khurda Road, Bhubaneswar-Bolangir, Bhubaneswar-Koraput via Sambalpur and Bhubaneswar-Rourkela.
Meanwhile, a special intra-state train chugged out of the Rourkela railway station for Bhubaneswar at 5.10 am. “A thermal screening of passengers before they board a train is being conducted at the entrance of all stations,” an ECoR official said.
The Bhubaneswar-Bolangir Inter-City Special train left the state capital at 6.30 am with 187 passengers, he said, adding that the Sambalpur-Khurda Road Inter-City Special train departed with at least 82 passengers.
With the Centre relaxing the lockdown norms, the ECoR had decided to run five intra-state special trains from June 8 to 30. However, there will be no train service on Saturdays and Sundays. These trains will run on the remaining five days of the week.
The ECoR has advised the passengers to carry their own food and linen and reach 90 minutes ahead of the departure of the trains. Only the passengers with confirmed tickets are allowed to enter the railway stations.