APSRTC cancels 20 bus services to Hyderabad

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:   Intensifying efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), Krishna region, on Thursday cancelled 20 bus services to Hyderabad from Pandit Nehru Bus Station (PNBS) due to low patronage, according to APSRTC, Krishna, Regional Manager G Nagendra Prasad. Also, 10 air-conditioned buses travelling on the interstate routes to Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad were also cancelled in the Kadapa zone comprising Kurnool and Anantapur districts due to low occupancy. 

This apart, the South Central Railway (SCR) has cancelled as many as 42 trains up to March 31 in view of the Health Advisory issued regarding coronavirus threat. Also the SCR has initiated additional precautionary measures to control the spread of coronavirus. ‘’Currently, we are operating the regular bus services to Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad and have suspended the special services. Passengers, who have reserved their tickets till March 20, can travel to their destinations and suspended services will be resumed, if required,’’ Prasad said.

Asked whether the APSRTC will stop bus services altogether to Karnataka and Telangana following a rise in COVID-19 suspect cases, the regional manager said, “We have not received any official orders over suspension of interstate services. All the buses in the region are being disinfected on a daily basis. The crew is advised to wear masks when the buses are crowded.” Medical teams have been deployed at PNBS to screen passengers entering the premises, he added.

The PNBS witnessed a nominal rush of mainly students on Thursday morning following the State government announcement to close down educational institutions up to March 31. Speaking to TNIE, M Sampath, a student travelling to Rajamahendravaram,  said, ‘’We are requesting the APSRTC officials to arrange additional services on the major routes till this weekend. A majority of the regular services are almost full and, in such a scenario, it is a tough task to travel in crowded buses as there is every chance of contracting the virus.” 

SCR cancels 42 trains
Meanwhile, it has been decided to suspend all concession for UTS and PRS tickets (reserved and unreserved) for all categories of passengers, except students, four categories of Divyangjan and, 11 categories of patients from Friday. This will be applicable to all tickets on or before March 20. Trains have been cancelled in view of poor availability of alternate trains for passengers. Full refund is being given to those passengers whose train/s have been cancelled. Indian Railways has facilitated the return of students, who are stranded due to closure of schools, colleges and universities, to their hometowns. 

Advisories are being issued to passengers to avoid non-essential train journeys and to ensure they don’t have fever while commencing journey. At any point during the journey, if a passenger feels that he/she is having fever, he/she  can contact the railway staff for medical assistance, sources said.

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