People playing it safe by calling off their travel plans to Hyderabad
The ongoing ‘sakala janula samme' sponsored by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) to press for its demand for a separate Telanaga state is robbing private bus operators of huge revenue that the festival season ushers in every year.
With the pro-Telangana agitators growing aggressive by the day as part of the intensification of their strike and targeting various sections of Seemandhra region, people from this region are playing safe by calling off their travel plans to Hyderabad.
Festival season coupled with holidays to educational institutions triggers heavy flow of traffic. This is the time when private bus operators make a killing by operating a number of additional bus services with an increased fare.
Under constant threats by pro-Telangana activists, some private bus operators have suspended major chunk of services to that region while others chose to act bold.
“We have been operating our services as usual despite our buses being targeted by the agitators almost on a daily basis. The window panes of at least 4 to 5 buses are broken every day. Some of our drivers have also received head injuries. But we continue to operate,” says M Girish, Operations in-charge, Vijayawada, for Sree Kaleswari Travels.
He said the 15 buses that travel towards Hyderabad from different coastal regions every day are in operation besides two from Chennai and three from Bangalore. He said only a few people who book their ticket online in advance were seeking refund while others want to go ahead with their travel plans.
The AP State Road Transport Corporation meanwhile, suspended all services to Hyderabad in view of the strike. On Tuesday, it introduced additional services in the Rayalaseema route in view of the puja holidays to educational institutions.
On Tuesday evening alone, the RTC operated 16 special services to Kadapa and Kurnool to meet the additional rush. A large number of students were seen swarming the Pandit Nehru Bus Station for their onward journey.
“This is a regular practice. Students travelling by long-distance services, come and keep their luggage in the cloak room, enquire about the bus timing, go out and spend time and return about half an hour before their scheduled time,” said K.V.R.K. Prasad, General Manager of the RTC, Vijayawada region.