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As India begins to unlock gradually and life returns to normalcy after months of isolation, public transport has also evolved with times! Cabs and autos in Kolkata are using plastic separators to keep the passenger and driver safe amid the pandemic. By Manya Saini

India has embarked on a new phase of its fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The country is now looking to ensure safety as people resume their daily lives. Returning to work and travelling comes with its own set of challenges, but West Bengal has it all figured out! Cabs and autos in Kolkata have introduced a unique concept of plastic distancing.

 

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While the concept is not original to Kolkata, as it is being implemented across the world in different public places to help protect people, the way the city has adopted it is truly commendable. Earlier, banks and hospitals in India had put up plastic barricades to reduce the contact of their staff with the customers and patients.

Cabs and autos in Kolkata have similarly designated a distance between the rider and the driver using a plastic separator. The first use of the idea in West Bengal emerged in Bidhannagar, and from there on it has now spread across the city to Salt Lake, Rajarhat, and New Town.

The original idea of implementing the plan was by the local police authorities of Bidhannagar who believed that the concept will serve a dual purpose. On one hand, it will ensure social distancing is maintained while travelling and on the other, it will also reduce the anxiety of the driver and commuter of coming in contact with the virus.

 

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The barrier remains available for the drivers and cab owners at an affordable price of INR 200-250. Taxi and auto union leaders in the city are working to ensure that the cost remains the same so that all drivers can install it.

Cab aggregators in India, Ola and Uber have also been quick to adopt the ingenious idea to bring back customers to the taxis after the lockdown. An estimated 800 private cabs in Kolkata have already installed the isolator.

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