A few intra-state buses, for various destinations like Ranchi, Bokaro and Ramgarh, plied from the Sitaramdera bus terminus here on Thursday, but passengers were too few in number.
Chief patron of Jamshedpur Bus Owner's Association Upendra Sharma said, "The government notification regarding relaxations in lockdown rules reached us late in the night. Many bus operators were not aware of the lifting of restrictions on inter-district bus services. They came to know about it only on Thursday morning. Therefore, less number of buses plied."
Sharma said they were expecting good seat occupancy in the next two to three days.
Around 350 inter-district buses operate from Sitaramdera, Kolhan's largest bus terminus, on a daily basis.
Sharma also hinted at a hike in bus fare. "We are contemplating a bus fare hike due to rising fuel costs. A minimum of 40 per cent hike has been proposed. A decision in this regard will be taken soon," he said.
Members of the association also demanded concessions on road tax. "We have been facing a difficult time since last year because of the pandemic and lockdowns. Unable to bear losses, several bus owners shifted to other businesses to earn their livelihood," said another member of the association.
Passengers seemed relieved over resumption of inter-district bus services after almost three months.
"I had to hire a car to go to Ranchi for business purposes which was expensive. But now with restoration of the inter-district bus services, I can opt for a bus journey to the capital," said Akhilesh Pandey, a local trader.