In its move to facilitate the travel of those passengers from India Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to Noida and Ghaziabad, the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) has permitted taxi-ride facilities, but at an extremely heavy cost.
A letter on this was sent to the UPSRTC regional managers by the UP Roadways on May 9.
High fares to get back home
As per the letter, UPSRTC will charge Rs 10,000 for a Honda Ciaz from the Delhi airport to any destination within a radius of 250km. Similarly, a ride in a Innova taxi will cost Rs 12,000 and Rs 1,000 for bus service. After the 250 km distance, Rs 40 and Rs 50 will be charged for each extra kilometre in the two taxi variants, respectively.
For the bus services, the UPSRTC charges Rs 1000 for a seat in a non-AC traveller; while an air-conditioned ride is made available at Rs 1,320 for the first 100km and double the amount for the next 100km.
According to the letter, "There will not be more than three passengers in a taxi, including the driver, and 26 passengers in the bus, to maintain the social distancing norms."
At present, all the stranded people brought back from foreign countries are kept in 14-day quarantine in Delhi. The transport facilities will ferry them to Noida, Ghaziabad and other cities once they complete the quarantine period there.
At present, we engage our buses to ferry passengers from Delhi airport to different hotels and quarantine centres in Delhi. We have received the order from the headquarters to ferry returnees in buses and taxis. They will be transported as per the directions of the Delhi government and Ghaziabad administration," said AK Singh, regional manager, UPSRTC to the media.
Although the UPSRTC officials were tried to be contacted by International Business Times, India, none of them responded to our calls.
According to Raj Shekhar, managing director of the corporation, the authorities have got the required clearance to facilitate travel for residents of Noida and Ghaziabad from IGI airport.
Bus services for migrant people
The high fare structure has come as a huge blow on the returnees who have already faced the brunt of the lockdown.
According to the officials, the decision on the fares has been decided by the headquarters. "We have received information that stranded people are sometimes fleeced by truck drivers and others promising lifts. Such commuting is also unsafe while the government initiative is safe," told AK Singh.
UPSRTC buses have been ferrying migrant people from Noida to other districts of Uttar Pradesh as well as to other states on the directions of district administration, said Anurag Yadav, assistant regional manager of UPSRTC.
"The services to transport migrant workers were free of cost. Now, we have received a letter from the headquarters to ply buses and taxis from the Delhi airport. We will take suitable measures once the administration gives us the nod," he said.