Transport Sector In 2020 Gives Resounding Response To Covid-19

The SKOCH State of Governance research process studies governance with a fine-toothed comb. For 2020, the impact of Covid-19 on administration has the most dominant theme. From District Administration and Health to Municipalities and Policing, every aspect of governance has changed in response to the pandemic. These changes haven’t been all bad: quite the contrary…

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The SKOCH State of Governance research process studies governance with a fine-toothed comb. For 2020, the impact of Covid-19 on administration has the most dominant theme. From District Administration and Health to Municipalities and Policing, every aspect of governance has changed in response to the pandemic. These changes haven’t been all bad: quite the contrary in fact; many government sectors and the organisations working within them have matured this last year. They say that you only know what you’re truly made of in times of crisis and by that reckoning, governance in India is a testament to strong administrative will.

SKOCH studied nearly 1400 projects for 2020. The Transport sector in 2020 is credited with 27 impactful projects. These have been studied and assessed to be well-performing projects in terms of planning, implementation and effect.

Changing Face of Governance in 2020

SKOCH studies governance across several parameters. These sectors offer us a blueprint for analysing and assessing projects and policies introduced by the government and other organisations. At the macro level, state performance and ranking is an indicator of individual state and overall national health. At the micro level, these sectors are an insight into where the country and local administrations are succeeding and where more intervention is needed.

The following table is an analysis of governance sectors from 2015-2020. Sectoral growth is quantified in terms of contribution to the total number of projects for the year.

Shifting Governance Priorities: State Governments From 2015-2020
  2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2015-2020
Projects Ranked Per Year (%)
Agriculture 1.72 0.00 1.24 1.97 3.04 7.02 1.91
Disaster Management 0.00 1.10 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.22
District Administration 40.34 9.16 12.37 8.55 0.00 0.00 17.37
Ease of Doing Business 0.74 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.22
Education 1.35 3.48 3.51 6.91 6.42 9.21 4.04
eGovernance 5.90 13.19 16.91 26.32 29.73 40.79 17.33
Finance & Revenue 0.12 0.92 1.24 2.63 4.05 10.09 2.06
Food & Civil Supplies 0.00 1.28 1.44 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.52
Governance (General Administration) 2.83 7.88 2.06 8.88 9.80 9.21 5.73
Health (Non-COVID) 4.31 11.72 4.74 6.25 6.76 5.26 6.47
Infrastructure 0.12 0.55 0.21 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.19
Irrigation 0.00 0.37 2.68 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.56
Labour 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.32 0.00 0.00 0.15
Municipal Governance 11.32 19.05 18.76 28.29 30.41 15.79 18.68
Municipal Sanitation 3.81 4.40 12.58 0.00 0.00 0.00 4.34
Police & Safety 12.92 9.34 1.44 0.00 3.04 0.00 6.44
Power & Energy 2.21 3.30 2.47 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.80
Rural Development 1.23 1.83 3.09 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.31
Skill Development 2.46 2.75 1.24 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.53
Social Justice & Social Security 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.97 0.00 0.00 0.22
Tourism & Culture 0.00 0.37 0.41 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.15
Transport 3.32 3.30 4.54 4.61 6.76 2.63 4.00
Urban Development 0.86 3.66 6.60 0.00 0.00 0.00 2.21
Water 3.08 0.92 0.82 0.00 0.00 0.00 1.27
Women & Child Development 1.35 1.47 1.65 2.30 0.00 0.00 1.27
Total number of projects studied 813 546 485 304 296 228 2672
Response to covid % 24.97%            
Numberof Projects related to Response to Covid 203            

The Transport sector in 2020 has contributed 3.32% of the total number of projects for the year. At first glance, this is not a lot of growth compared to the 3.30% for 2019. However, given the rise in the number of projects studied overall and especially the Covid-19 context, the sector has performed exceptionally. Several important projects have come out of the Transport sector in 2020, especially in the first two quarters of the year with people returning home with the lockdown.

State Rankings by Transport Sector in 2020

The following table shows the top-performing states on the basis of work done in the Transport sector in 2020:

State Rank by Transport State Names
1 West Bengal
2 Karnataka
3 Maharashtra
4 Gujarat
5 Haryana
6 Odisha
7 Tamil Nadu
8 Bihar
8 Chandigarh (UT)
8 Goa
8 Uttar Pradesh

For an in-depth analysis, SKOCH conducts a sub-sectoral study of the individual governance sectors as well. This is done in order to to get detailed insights into the performance of organisations in specific niches. The following list from SKOCH’s primary research highlights the different sub-sectors under the Transport sector and their contribution (in percentages) to the total number of projects from the sector for 2020:

  • Environment and Sustainability – 3.70%
  • Excellence in Digital India/Use of ICT – 7.40%
  • Excellence in Governance – 7.40%
  • Excellence in Inspirational or Transformational Performance during COVID – 18.51%
  • Excellence in Mobility/Transport – 18.51%
  • Excellence in Response to COVID-19 – 40.74%
  • Swasth Bharat – 3.70%

It is plain to see that the Covid-19 pandemic has been the most potent influence on the Transport sector in 2020.

Transport Sector in 2020 Responds To Covid-19

The following projects are some of the most impactful in response to Covid-19.


The Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation played a pivotal role in the lockdown. GSRTC followed Government mandates to transport people back to their home states. The corporation helped migrant workers, tourists, students, pilgrims and others stranded when the lockdown was imposed. GSRTC ferried around 6,32,185 people using 20,259 buses till the end of May 2020. The corporation has aided District Administration across the state by supplying its fleet to help transport labourers. The corporation did not charge the travelers for tickets. GSRTC has followed all relevant safety protocols for their staff, sanitised the buses adequately and ensured social distancing and medical screening for all travelers.


Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited’s mandate includes servicing the Pune Metropolitan Region. In order to fulfill its role as the primary bus transport service provider despite Covid, PMPML took several important steps. Drivers and conductors provided emergency bus transport services for essential service staff and commodities as well as driving ambulances and taking the deceased for cremation. PMPML established a sanitisation tunnel using old buses, for staff members entering the workspaces. The terminals and assets were sanitised daily and the staff were outfitted with PPE. Sanitiser holders were installed in every busy and refilled for every shift. Passengers were only allowed into the bus after a temperature check and with a mask. Conductors only allow entry when there are seats vacant to ensure no standing or crowding. During the lockdown, passengers were seated in a zig-zag formation. Staff and crew have donated one day’s salary to the organisation to invest in safety measures.

PMPML has also done good work promoting Excellent in Mobility/ Transport in the non-Covid niche. The goal is to ensure the Pune Metropolitan Region transport infrastructure continues to grow and is the Green Mobility Partner of choice. The Aligning Transit on All Lanes (ATAL) Initiative is aimed at decongesting the core city area of Pune. In order to do so, 164 buses are plying on 52 routes with the aim of providing affordable and rapid feeder service to terminals. As a direct result, the rides have increased by over 100% within a month and as of December 2020, the system boasted a customer base of 43,340 with a revenue of Rs. 2.16 Lakhs.


Capital Region Urban Transport (CRUT) , Odisha, has continued providing services and collaborated with the local civic body to manage the pandemic despite suffering revenue losses because of the situation. CRUT has worked in a two-pronged approach: adapting the MoBus system to a) provide essential services and b) adjust fares. In the early days of the pandemic and acute shortages, CRUT sourced masks and sanitisers for staff and crew from outside the state. The organisation used the lockdown phase to design SOPs for operating post-lockdown and functioned in aid to the government bodies. CRUT used social media to engage with customers and boost brand recall through Games of MoBus and also spread awareness about the importance of social distancing. The organisation also launched the MoBus MoStory campaign and invited users to share stories, thoughts and artworks about their experiences using the MoBus system.


SKOCH studied the Homecoming In The Time Of Covid-19 effort by Transport Department, Bihar. The program has helped migrant labourers returning home. The department prioritised the safety of their employees and commuters and worked proactively to ensure that essential transport services are not struck down by the pandemic. The department used IT tools to great effect to meet goals like Covid-19 Threat Assessment, Travel Demand Assessment, Designing of Migrant Information System, Mobility Supply Planning & Immediate Response Mechanism. A special effort was made to categorise incoming passengers as per Covid Zones and assess potential impact. This helped with capacity building and planning for quarantine centres.

Non-Covid Projects in the Transport Sector in 2020

Despite Covid-19 dominating all aspects of life in 2020, the Transport sector has continued and begun several non-Covid endeavours to improve the transport infrastructure of the country.

Karnataka Works For Sustainability & Swasth Bharat

The Hubballi-Dharwad Bus Rapid Trasit System Company Limited introduced the Hubballi-Dharwad Bus Rapid Trasit System. The system uses 100 AC Volvo Buses and serves 1 lakh passengers daily. This helped reduce travel time by 25%. The transport system is safer and more comfortable thanks to 4-tier surveillance, a control room, ITS, Adaptive Traffic Control System and an upgraded fleet. The 4m-wide and 8km-long BRT has been beautified with 29,000+ saplings keeping in view with the project’s sustainability goals.

The Swachchtha Hi Seva project under the Swasth Bharat campaign by the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation worked to reduce the use of single-use drinking water bottles on their bus routes through “Bring Your Own Bottle” and “Selfie With Your Own Water Bottle” contests. The driving goals of the campaign are to reduce overall daily use of plastic items and promote proper collection and disposal of the same. The corporation aims to bring all stakeholders -crew, media, customers and environmentalists- together to participate in the shared responsibility of protecting the environment.

West Bengal

SKOCH recognises the Integrated Traffic Management System by South Bengal State Transport Corporation for revamping the commuting experience and management functions. The system allows passengers to book tickets with great ease. On the other end, the corporation is able to better track fleets, inventories, fuel stocks and depot functioning. The system has also improved Accounts management with proper recording and bill generation. All this information is now a mouse-click away, which makes for more accuracy and transparency. Felt-needs analyses has informed software development and staff training.

SBSTC’s role in fighting Covid-19 helped promote safety and stability in this period. SBSTC helped stranded people return to their hometowns when the lockdown was imposed. Coordinating with district administration officials, the corporation designed plans to fix routes, timings, safety protocols etc. Motivational workshops helped staff and crew overcome their apprehensions and devote themselves to the service of those in need. SBSTC ran 7,746 vehicles from 23/03/2020 to 15/06/2020 at no cost and 15,492 crew members helped 4,49,355 people travel safely during this crisis. The expenses incurred at this time are to the tune of Rs.10.62 Crores, which SBSTC has not charged in an attempt to help the country and the government at this terrible time. The corporation also offered their services to the authorities and helped transport essential staff free of cost.

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