Ever since the Samaikyandhra agitation commenced, railway stations and trains towards the Seemandhra region are teeming with passengers. As a result, passenger traffic has increased considerably across the South Central Railway (SCR) limits and so have the revenues.
With RTC buses confined to respective depots and private bus operations also hit due to the 60-day-old agitation, most commuters are forced to travel only in trains to reach their destinations. This has led to a significant rise in passenger traffic across the SCR limits.
In August 2013, the passenger traffic increased by 7.58 per cent as 336 lakh travelled in different trains, as compared to 312 lakh travellers in August 2012. In this month, the average passenger traffic increased to 11.40 lakh passengers per day against 9.74 lakh per day recorded in September 2012.
“Given the situation, it is risky to travel in private buses. One has to either travel in trains or depend on personal transport. Travelling in trains is surely more comfortable,” says K. Ashwin Kumar, a regular commuter from Hyderabad to Vijayawada.
Among the six divisions in SCR, the passenger traffic increased mostly in Guntakal division (37 per cent), which covers Tirupati, Kadapa, Anantapur and other places, Guntur division (34 per cent) that covers Prakasam, Kurnool and other places and Vijayawada division (29 per cent) covering coastal districts, Anankapalli and other places.
It provides a glimpse of the passenger flow towards Seemandhra region and commuters preference to travel in trains.
To avoid inconvenience to passengers, the SCR is operating many special trains and attached several extra coaches in different trains. Emphasis is always on passenger convenience than revenue, says a senior railway official.
The SCR authorities say revenues too increased due to the rise in passenger traffic and other reasons, including fare hike. In August 2012, the SCR had earned Rs.180 crore and this jumped to Rs.227 crore in August 2013. Similarly, in the first 23 days of this month, the revenue has already swelled to Rs.188 crore against the Rs.140 crore in September 2012.