With over 2.5 lakh students applying for new bus passes, operation of just 18 centres is grossly inadequate

Consider this. There are just 18 bus pass centres of the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) in the capital and over 2.5 lakh students sweat it out at these centres to get new bus passes in June after commencement of a new academic year.

Though there are 43 other bus pass centres, they are meant for renewal of passes issued in last academic year.

But all those who have to obtain a new bus pass will have to wait in serpentine queues for hours together at these 18 centres.

At times, students are forced to skip their classes, lunch and struggle standing amidst suffocating and overcrowded enclosures to submit their applications.

The scenario was repeated on Wednesday at the Rathifile bus stand, when scores of students were made to stand for hours to submit their buss pass applications and obtain them as it was the last day for getting the Route and Greater Hyderabad passes.

“It took more than four hours for me to get hold of my pass. With so much of rush, the RTC staff could have taken measures to quicken the process,” J. Kishore, a class ninth student said.

As the school hours came to an end, the rush at bus pass counters reached a peak and even resulted in jostling and minor scuffles.

“We are desperate because today is the last day,” B. Meena, an engineering student recounted.

However, RTC authorities claimed that there was only a “minor scuffle” at the centre due to the last-minute rush. “About 5,000 students turn up at Rathifile and Central Bus station pass centres everyday despite 16 other centres across the capital. There is hardly any rush at the other centres,” claimed APSRTC Greater Hyderabad Executive Director A. Koteswara Rao.

Passes for Greater Hyderabad area can be obtained by students between 10 and 19 of a month, but students wait till the last date to get their passes.

This puts tremendous pressure on officers and they were operating the counters till 10 p.m. to avoid inconvenience to students, he defended.

Plea to colleges

Mr. Rao stated that such rush is witnessed only in June-July when schools/colleges reopen. The last date for submission of Greater Hyderabad and route passes has also been extended to June 30 from June 19, he said. The APSRTC has been urging school and college managements in vain to collect applications, verify documents and submit them in a bunch so that they can collect passes from the respective counters the next day. “This would prevent students from standing in queues for hours,” said Mr. Rao.

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