Jun 09, 2020 (LBO) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa pointed out the importance of developing the service provided of private bus owners in a systematic manner while ensuring a standard service to the public.
President directed relevant officials to prepare a joint time table after carefully studying the long-standing issue relating to the same in consultation with the National Transport Commission, Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities and the Ministry of Transport.
President issued these directives during a meeting with Private Bus owners held at the Presidential Secretariat today (8).
The number of road accidents reported daily is on the increase. The Police states that 7 people are killed on average due to road accidents. It has been revealed that Private Buses are responsible for the majority of such deaths. President advised the officials to pay attention to this situation and prepare a mechanism to lower the rate of accidents.
Bus Owners’ Association pointed out that they have to pay ransoms to certain individuals due to various reasons. Inquiring further into the matter, President instructed the officials to take measures to eradicate this practice. He also highlighted the importance of having a separate color code for private buses like for SLTB buses.
The number of passengers in a bus should be limited to the number of seats in accordance with stringent safety standards for COVID – 19 prevention. It was also decided to amend the opening hours of the State and private sector entities in order to limit the number of passengers during peak hours. It was also discussed to offer a loan facility of Rs. 300,000 for repairs caused by buses remaining idle during the curfew period.
President said special attention should be paid to the cleanliness of restaurants and eateries where the long-distance plying buses stop for a break.
It was also decided to add buses with high standards to the existing fleet giving priority to the comfort of the passengers. Minister of Passenger Transport Management Mahinda Amaraweera, Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the Ministry of Transport L. P. Jayampathy, Acting IGP C. D. Wickremerathne, Chairman of National Transport Commission Shashi Welgama, heads of Provincial Road Passenger Transport Authorities and representatives of Bus Owners’ Associations also present during the discussion.