Tech Knowledge, Apps, Smartphones Now Required to Travel by ASTC
GUWAHATI: The Assam government has proudly claimed that buses will start plying in green zone districts of Assam. But then, if the ASTC chairman's words are to be believed, it is all a matter of being digital savvy it seems.
People who don't have a smartphone or even if they have one but lack knowledge about being functionally capable of being online will not be able to avail the ASTC bus services during the initial days. Why? Because ASTC has suddenly gone digital in offering its city bus services.
According to ASTC instructions for tomorrow, 100 city buses will be plying in Guwahati from 6.30 am to 5 pm and, believe it or not, the entire ticketing will have to be done through the "Challo" app - a fully digital option.
Secondly, scheduled departure and arrival of a few intercity and inter district buses are all ready uploaded on the "Redbus" portal. These services are being offered from various parts of the state for people to avail them.
ASTC asserted that people may book their buses through Redbus portal.
Offline ticketing will not be permitted even for intra-district travel, said ASTC.
After receiving the guidelines, G Plus tried contacting the ASTC officials to know if intra-district movement is possible without online registration. A senior official of ASTC said that everything cannot be given on the first day itself.
Many labourers were happy after health and finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's press conference that daily wage earners could move around for work. But the labourers are now upset as they cannot board a bus because they are not digital-savvy or monetarily sound enough to own a smartphone.
ASTC might be using 100 buses tomorrow but who is the benefit going to is the big question.