Collegians going to Ibrahimpatnam colleges face hardships due to lack of proper connectivity
An arduous journey, 20-odd kilometres back and forth, is an unavoidable daily routine for many students pursuing professional courses in various colleges in city peripheries. The situation is especially bad for those studying in colleges around Ibrahimpatnam, owing to lack of rail connectivity from the city.
There are over 50 private educational institutions located in and around the Ibrahimpatnam mandal, which were established years ago when land prices were affordable. Due to their relative proximity to the city, many students from here have taken admission in the colleges, prepared to commute every day. However, as years have gone by, the number of students seeking admission into the professional courses has increased, forcing the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) to run more services to the mandal. Now, the corporation runs even Express and Deluxe buses to Ibrahimpatnam, yet falling short of the need. All along the way, students can be seen waiting endlessly in huge droves near the bus stops. The situation worsens during morning and evening hours when the student rush is high.
“Though there are many buses, all are crowded most of the time. Even we girls hang on to the footboard. We don’t mind doing that either. Only if the bus halts near the stop!” says P. Mamatha, a student of the Bharat Institute of Science for Women, who commutes from B.N. Reddy Nagar. College buses are expensive, and cost about Rs.15,000 to Rs. 20,000 per year. Hell is in store for the students in the evenings, as bus drivers simply don’t pull to a halt even if the bus is empty. However, most often the buses come heavy, with passengers hanging like poultry chicken from the doors.
“Our college sessions end at 4 p.m., and there have been instances when we were forced to wait for two hours to catch a bus home,” Mamatha recalls. Share-autos do a brisk business, and there is potential for many more. While the autos are meant to carry only six members including the driver, they often come with double the numbers, two adjusted beside the driver, three or four each in two rows in the passenger seats, and similar numbers sitting on the engine behind.
More dangerous than such commuting is the habit of triple-riding among male students. All the speeding bikes of college students invariably carry two pillion riders, which could be life-threatening. “Though my parents caution me every day against risky driving, I can’t be selfish towards my friends. Whatever be the consequences, I will continue to carry two of my friends every day,” asserts Santhosh Reddy, an engineering student.