VIJAYAWADA: The daylong relaxation in Covid-19 curfew has given a big relief to majority sections of the society in the state and they are further hopeful of lifting of the night curfew, too, in the coming days.
The AP government relaxed the curfew from 6 am to 6 pm in the state except East Godavari district which continues to register high rate of infections.
APSRTC buses have started plying on roads once again in all the 13 districts and services Telangana were also resumed. Government offices are going to work as usual and banks are also returning to normal schedule. Earlier the government offices, banks, shops and other business establishments were closed by afternoon.
Restaurants, hotels and tea-stalls which faced a lot of difficulties to do business are going to get a big relief with daylong curfew relaxation and similarly wholesale and retail traders are elated over the new timings.
Further, the adjacent Telangana lifted lockdown in the state and cancelled e-pass norms for entry of vehicles into Telangana giving. This would help Andhra people go to Hyderabad and other places of Telangana for various purposes including for treatment purposes.
APSRTC executive director K.S. Brahmananda Reddy said they were restarting 100 inter-state bus services to Hyderabad and other places of Telangana from Monday. He said the curfew hit the revenues of APSRTC hard. They expect to earn about Rs 4 crore a day with daylong relaxation. He said that APSRTC had operated 4,000 buses per day during half-day curfew relaxation and now from Monday, APSRTC would operate 7,000 buses per day in 13 districts of the State. APSRTC would strictly follow Corona protocol, ensuring only 50 per cent seats occupation, and insisting on masks and sanitation etc.
The APSRTC started the advance reservation facility with the restoration of services in day time. Similarly, the Telangana RTC is going to run buses to AP from Hyderabad and other places of Telangana from Monday during daytime.
Auto-rickshaws, taxis and cabs are going to ply during daytime from Monday. The auto-rickshaw drivers who faced a lot of financial hurdles due to the half-day curfew norm to nurture their families are hoping for improvement in their incomes due to daylong plying.
Auto-rickshaw driver Polimetla Gandhi said that people must now lower their guard as Covid may strike again. Daylong business activity would immensely help auto-rickshaw, taxi and cab services.
Chamber of Commerce representatives A. Anjaneyulu and others lamented that the trading sector was the worst sufferer due to Corona. They said that business at supermarkets, groceries, hotels, restaurants, garments, electrical, electronics and allied sectors would increase from Monday. They deplored that traders were unable to pay rents and staff salaries due to the Coronavirus impact and hoped return to normalcy due to containment of Corona in the coming days.