KARACHI: Sindh Transport Minister Awais Shah said Saturday the province will permit the resumption public transport services after Eid-ul-Fir.
The development comes a day after Shah refused to resume transportation services, citing the rising number of coronavirus patients in the country and a “critical situation” in the province as cases, deaths, and recoveries continued to increase simultaneously.
Shah, speaking to Geo News, said: “[Sindh] has started preparations to reopen public transport under Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).”
Talking about providing relief to the transporters, since public transport had been shut due to the lockdown, he said that a four-point summary had been drafted for them.
“The summary has been sent to [Sindh] Chief Minister [Murad Ali Shah] and a final decision on the matter will be made in a meeting on Monday,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, Balochistan government spokesperson Liaquat Shahwani had said that the provincial government had not yet made a decision regarding the resumption of transport services.
Shahwani said Chief Minister Jam Kamal will review the situation across various districts and the province overall, before making any decision.
A day earlier, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab deiced to resume transport services. The announcements came after Prime Minister Imran Khan had requested the provincial authorities to open public transport.
The KP government has subjected the reopening of transport beginning Monday to the condition that the standard operating procedures (SOPs) on prevention from the deadly coronavirus would be followed by all those using transport as well as operators.
The KP chief minister’s information adviser, Ajmal Khan Wazir, said the SOPs that need to be heeded would be set up by the commissioners in collaboration with the regional transport authority and transporters and that fares would be revised on basis of new oil prices.
Furthermore, Punjab finalised the SOPs in a meeting with the transport association, with the latter’s representative agreeing to reduce the fares on the back of a steep decline in petroleum prices.
It was decided that the passengers would be obligated to wear face masks and maintain a distance of three feet during travel. Transporters were also bound to check the temperature of everyone travelling and avoid overloading their vehicles.