Rickshaws, e-ricks flout SOP on Day 1 of Unlock 1.0 | Ranchi News

Ranchi: The standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the state transport department were blatantly flouted in the city on Day 1 of Unlock 1.0 on Monday.
Under the state-specific guidelines, the department had fixed the SOP for resumption of public transport services, except for city buses. The SOP said cycle rickshaws can ferry only one passenger while e-rickshaws can carry two. It also mandated use of masks, gloves and sanitizers. But in areas like Main Road, Purulia Road, Dangratoli and Circular Road, hardly anyone followed the rules.
Ranchi district transport officer Sanjiv Kumar said special drives will be launched against the violators soon. He said, “We have written to the traffic department for enforcement. The transport department and traffic police will launch checking drives. Erring drivers will be fined on the spot.”
A rickshaw puller, who pedalled his way from Main Road to Dangratoli carrying a young couple, said, “I don’t know about the SOP except the fact that we are allowed to earn our livelihoods from today. I have also worn masks and so did my customers.” Shamsher Alam, another rickshaw puller, added, “If two of a family want to avail a rickshaw, should they hire two vehicles?”
Many e-rickshaw drivers echoed similar expressions and stressed that using sanitizers round-the-clock isn’t practically possible. Subodh Kumar, an e-rickshaw driver said, “Masks are okay but sanitizers won’t be possible for us as we have to be on road from morning till night. Moreover, our focus now is to earn as much as we can.”
On the contrary, autorickshaws plied in limited numbers within the prescribed capacity. A driver at Kantatoli, Md Khalid, said, “Not many customers are keen to take autos since the sharing system isn’t allowed currently. Many prefer rickshaws or e-rickshaws for shorter routes as booking an autorickshaw for one person is not economically feasible.”
Meanwhile, shops and market places were crowded on Day 1. Those dealing in jewellery, electronics, mobile phones, hardware, consumer durable items and service centres were abuzz with customers.
Ankita Yadav, a bank employee at Circular Road, said, “I came to buy a mobile phone urgently as my existing one suffered a snag two weeks ago.”

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