The Bihar government’s efforts to deploy buses to provide last-mile transport to migrants returning home during lockdown has won it a mention in the national awards for innovative transport solutions during the pandemic.
“The Transport Department of Bihar deployed more than 7,000 buses on PPP mode to facilitate unprecedented movement of migrants in excess of 25 lakh during COVID19. An emergency response team was set up within 24 hours of lockdown facilitating real time monitoring through Transport Management System,” said the citation at the 13th Urban Mobility India conference by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on Monday.
Bihar was cited along with various initiatives by Gurugram, Surat, Rajkot and Ernakulam, where autorickshaw drivers installed separators between driver and passenger and accepted payments only through digital means to aid distancing.
The top awards, however, went to Bhubaneswar and Agartala. Bhubaneswar turned its neighbourhood bus stops into vegetable vending zones and brought essential supplies to the doorstep using its public transport apparatus. Agartala, the Smart City, made 5 km of dedicated pedestrian walkway during the lockdown.
Earlier in the day, Housing and Urban Affairs minister Hardeep Puri emphasised the need to adopt innovative transport solutions in the post-Covid world. “Future mobility is about striving towards environment-friendly, integrated, automated and personalised travel on-demand. New advancements like intelligent transportation systems, and traffic management applications are in the pipeline for enhanced mobility in major cities,” he said.
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