Punjab Govt to Allow Public Transport on Roads Along with SOPs

The Punjab government has decided to approve the flow of public transport on the roads after Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar gave a green signal to the move despite a rise in coronavirus cases across the province.

CM Punjab asked the officials to provide a plan laying out the Standard Operating Procedures, after a meeting with transporters today.

The meeting will be presided over by provincial Law Minister Raja Basharat, and will take place around 3pm.

After the session, the provincial government will apprise the Centre about the SOPs and its measures regarding the decision to allow public transport to operate, said sources.

According to sources, the transport will be both intra-city and inter-city.

A report earlier presented to the CM Punjab stated that due to the lockdown and curbs on public transport, the problems of the common people intensified.

It said that due to the situation, people were forced to use private vehicles on exorbitant rates.

The report recommended that the transport sector should be allowed to become operational to bring relief to the public.

In an earlier address to the nation, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that the lockdown was to be lifted in phases.

In the same address, he expressed hope that public transport and railways operations will be resumed after thorough discussions with the concerned officials and the National Coordination Committee. The officials were tasked to mull over SOPs in this regard.

People rush to bazaars, violate SOPs across province

The Punjab government said it had decided to strictly enforce lockdown and take strict action against violators of Covid-19 SOPs after markets opened since Monday.

The development came as thousands of shoppers threw safety guidelines to the dogs and flooded bazaars and shops across the province.

If violation of SOPs continues, the government may reconsider its decision on easing lockdown, said Law Minister Raja Basharat while issuing a special statement in his office here on Thursday. He said it was unfortunate that during the easing of lockdown, SOPs were not followed in most of the markets and there was more rush than usual in the markets.

As of today, the cases in Punjab jumped near 14,000 with more than 230 deaths.

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