(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Minister of Passenger Transport Management, Power and Energy Mahinda Amaraweera says that even in areas where curfew is lifted, buses will only be used for essential services.
Addressing a media conference held at his residence in Angunakolapelessa today (26th) Minister Amaraweera said the objective of easing the curfew is to maintain essential services, state services and industries. “But we see more and more people traveling for their own personal needs.”
“If buses are used for public transport tomorrow, there will definitely be a large influx of people. As a result, buses are only used for essential services.”
He requested the people not to use public transport even f the curfew is lifted.
Meanwhile, in a statement, the Ministry of Passenger Transport Management said that the buses owned by the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) will only be used to transport those who need to be transported for essential services such as health, security at government and private sector organizations.
The Ministry said currently the SLTB has 5700 buses and the private sector has around 23000 buses. Even if all SLTB buses are deployed to cover the entire island, it is not sufficient and the private sector does not like to operate their buses as the daily income is low, the Ministry points out.
Therefore, the public transport does not facilitate public travel except for essential duties. This decision has been taken solely to implement the instructions given by the government to safeguard the public from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the decision taken by the government yesterday to allow people to travel even for essential purposes on different days of the week based on the last digit of their National Identity Cards would make it easier for the authorities to manage the public transport, the Ministry said.