The Haryana authorities on Sunday mentioned there will likely be no free journey facility for girls in state roadways buses on the event of Raksha Bandhan this yr in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The federal government’s determination, which got here on the eve of Raksha Bandhan, drew criticism from senior Congress chief Bhupinder Singh Hooda. He mentioned as a substitute of utilizing the pandemic as an excuse, the federal government ought to run extra buses to make sure social distancing.
“The free (journey) service has been discontinued (for girls) on Monday this time in view of the COVID-19 scenario as a restricted variety of individuals are allowed to journey in a bus,” Haryana Transport Minister Mool Chand Sharma mentioned.
“In a 52-seater bus, solely 30 passengers are allowed to journey,” he mentioned.
Mr Sharma additionally appealed to folks to keep up social distancing, put on face masks and sanitise their palms earlier than boarding the buses.
Hitting out on the authorities over the choice, Mr Hooda alleged it should put undue burden on numerous households going through monetary misery on account of months of lockdown and an financial slowdown within the nation.
“This would be the first time in 14 years that the federal government will accumulate fare from girls on Raksha Bandhan. Our authorities began this free bus service giving girls of the state a present on Raksha Bandhan,” the previous Haryana Chief Minister mentioned.
He mentioned the federal government ought to rethink its determination.
Mr Hooda mentioned the federal government mustn’t give the excuse of COVID-19 to discontinue the free journey service on Raksha Bandhan and as a substitute run extra buses to keep away from crowding and guarantee social distancing and security of girls who will go to their brothers.