South Western Railway not in a position to add additional coaches or run extra trains to clear rush

Travelling to Andhra Pradesh from Karnataka during the coming Independence Day weekend may not be easy, with inter-State bus services coming to a complete halt.

The Railways too is not in a position to add additional coaches to trains or operate extra trains to cater to the extra rush thereby making hassle-free commuting a remote possibility.

The three State road transport corporations operating inter-State bus services to Andhra Pradesh have completely stopped their services to Andhra Pradesh owing to unrest there over the Telangana issue.

The transport corporations, which initially stopped operating buses to Andhra Pradesh a fortnight ago, resumed operations, though only in the night, three days ago. Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, North Western KRTC and North Eastern KRTC were operating night services to Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Mantralayam and Kurnool.

However, after the staff of Andhra Pradesh SRTC too joined the Telangana stir, Karnataka RTCs have found it difficult to operate their services, said KSRTC Managing Director N. Manjunatha Prasad. “We have decided to wait and watch,” Mr. Prasad said.

KSRTC Chief Traffic Manager (Operations) Ashok Kumar said even APSRTC buses were not being allowed atop Tirumala from Tirupati. Some KSRTC buses are stranded in Andhra Pradesh but they are parked in safe places and one of the officers is camping there, he said.

Even private operators are running fewer services. Rajashekhar, Managing Director of SRS Travels, told The Hindu that buses were being detained for hours together in the neighbouring State. “But we are operating about 60 per cent of our services,” he said.

Rail service not hit

Train services between Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have not been affected so far. However, Divisional Railway Manager of South Western Railway’s Bangalore Division Anil Kumar Agarwal said that the South Western Railway is not planning any augmentation of services, either by way of additional coaches or trains. He said that South Western Railway is facing shortage of coaches and trains. On the other hand, all trains towards Andhra Pradesh are running packed, he said.

South Western Railway General Manager A.K. Mittal said that most of the trains towards Andhra Pradesh were being run in their full composition — 23 or 24 coaches. There is limited scope to augment coaches. If there is big demand for extra trains, the South Western Railway would consider it, he said.