Train passengers at their wits' end

Passengers bound to their homes for Sankranti festival are facing inconvenience as almost all the seats in trains have been booked. With no tickets available in the majority of the buses, the passengers are forced to choose alternative means such as taxis and cabs which are charging exorbitant fare.

Trains become the first preference for the passengers in view of safety, reliability and economy. A good number of people from north Andhra districts have settled down in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Chennai, apart from other States.

Almost all trains coming from these places are full for a week before and after the festival.

Passengers rue that though it is a recurring feature every year, the authorities are not operating sufficient number of trains to meet the demand. The weekly specials to Tirupati and Secunderabad have, however, been extended to partially. An excess fare of ₹100 to ₹150 is being charged for the special trains.

M. Bhaskar from the city, who is employed in Pune, came to Hyderabad on Tuesday and was lucky enough to get a ticket to Vizag in the tatkal quota a week ahead of the festival. “There is no accommodation on trains from Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam,” he said.

1,230 special RTC buses

RTC buses are the next option to middle class travellers, who fail to get accommodation on trains. In total, 1,230 special buses are being operated by the Visakhapatnam Region of RTC to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Kakinada, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and other places.

“The special buses will be plied till January 21. An excess fare of 50 % will be charged for Ultra Deluxe and above class of buses on long-distance routes such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru. However, the fares are normal for regular services,” said Deputy Chief Traffic Manager (Urban) M. Sudhabindhu.

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