Consider refunding fares for advance booking to curb travel because of coronavirus: Centre to states
To restrict travel by people through public transport because of coronavirus, the Centre on Wednesday asked states to consider refund of fare to passengers for advance bookings done by them.
The states and UTs have been requested to minimise transport numbers among the people, and also if it is not unavoidable, refund of fare may be considered against advance bookings, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry said in a release.
"Union Ministry of Road Transport & Highways has urged all the States and Union Territories to take necessary steps for containing novel coronavirus - COVID 19 in the means of public transport," the release said.
In a letter to the Principal Secretaries and Secretaries in charge of Transport, and Transport Commissioners of all States/UTs, the Union ministry has highlighted the importance of social distancing for controlling this disease, it added.
Further, the States/UTs have been requested to make arrangements for sending SMSs to the passengers for making them aware of these steps.
As the number of people infected with COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus continues to rise, the Indian startup ecosystem has sent a petition to the government and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The petition appeals for a “strict lockdown” and imposition of Section 144 across major cities in India by this week.
Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prohibits the assembly of five or more people.
A total of 66 representatives from the Indian startup ecosystem, including founders and investors, have prepared and endorsed the petition, calling for a lockdown across major cities for a minimum of two weeks. It urges that Section 144 be imposed, latest by March 20, to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The petitioners include the likes of Snapdeal’s Kunal Bahl, Cred’s Kunal Shah, Red Bus’ Phanindra Sama, and Accel Partners’ Prashanth Prakash.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)