Kashmir Indepth

Measures to prevent spread of coronavirus in Srinagar: Strict instructions issued to travel and transport operators to adhere to guidelines

Must not hide information about travellers and allow overcrowding in buses: DC Srinagar to operators

SRINAGAR, MARCH 16: To further strengthen the elaborate measures put in place to prevent spread of coronavirus infection in the district the Srinagar administration Monday issued specific guidelines and strict instructions to tour and travel agencies and transporters operating in the district.

These specific sets of guidelines and instructions were issued during meetings with representatives of operators convened under the chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary.

The travel operators were issued clearcut instructions to share details of all residents traveling outside India and now planning to return to Srinagar through their agencies.

The operators were informed about extensive and elaborate measures that government has taken in order to prevent spread of the infection in J&K and sensitised about the importance of support from one and all to ensure success of these efforts.

Dr Shahid impressed upon the operators their important role in these efforts and urged them to come forward and disclose information about travellers coming in through their agencies.

He warned of the most strict action under the law against operators hiding information about travellers coming in or assisting them sneak in to Srinagar.

He said these tactics help no one and put the people at risk adding that it can also impact the efforts of the administration making it tougher than it should.

Meanwhile the Tourism department has been asked to share details of all tour and travel agencies operating in the district with the administration.
ADC Srinagar M Haneef Balkhi and Joint Director Tourism Tabassum Kamli were also present in the meeting.

In another meeting convened with the representatives of transporters operating in the district the DC sought their support in ensuring that guidelines discouraging overcrowding in public transport are implemented in letter and spirit.

The transporters were sensitised about the global health situation that has arisen due to outbreak of COVID-19 and the risks it posses to Jammu & Kashmir and therefore the importance of following approved precautions and taking preventive measures.

Specific and clearcut instructions were issued to all transporters including operators of mini buses and those of smaller-size passenger vehicles to ensure no overloading is allowed therein in the district.
Dr Shahid while speaking on the occasion urged the representatives to support the administration in its efforts adding that non-compliance with guidelines and instructions in this regard would force the administration to go for blanket ban on operation of public transport while the health situation remains as it is.

He said the administration wants to avoid having to do the latter adding however that that would be possible if transporters and the general public support the administration in these efforts.
Regional Transport Officer Ikramullah Tak was also present in the meeting.

It is notable that these efforts are part of larger and evolving efforts and elaborate measures put in place to prevent spread of the infection in the district.

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