Stranded students in Delhi pay ₹2 lakh to travel back to Hyderabad

Some of the students who managed to travel in an SUV from New Delhi.   | Photo Credit: By Arrangement

Fortyseven days of endless waiting with no relief in sight due to lockdown amid COVD-19 pandemic, desperate students and UPSC civil services aspirants were forced to shell out anywhere between ₹ 8,000 to ₹ 10,000 per head to move out of Delhi and reach their native places in Telangana.

Close to 200 students from Telangana studying in various educational institutions and some others preparing for civils made a last ditch effort to hire buses and cabs to get out of the containment zones in the National Capital Region.

One such air conditioned sleeper bus left Karolbagh on Saturday evening with 27 students. They paid a whopping ₹2.06 lakh to hire the bus. The 53-seater bus was allowed to carry half of its capacity duly following the Centre’s direction on social distancing and other precautions. The 1600 km journey would take close to 40-hours. Two more buses are bound for Hyderabad from Noida.

Nightmarish days

Ranadeep Reddy, a civil’s aspirant and native of Mancherial district said: “We decided on road travel after we, nearly 200 students, were told it was not possible to arrange special trains. We found a travel bus ready to take us to Hyderabad and we informed the Toll Free number of the Telangana government the bus number and other details and got vehicle pass.”

B. Shravya, another civil’s aspirant, who is travelling in one of the bus said the Whatsapp group created by the TS students helped them to coordinate and plan their travel to Hyderabad. “Although the thought of road journey is scary, but we have no other option,” she said.

Lucky students

Ashfaq and 12 other students were lucky as they managed to get seats in an Innova and a Tempo Traveller which came to New Delhi to drop teachers from different Kendriya Vidyalayas working in Hyderabad.

“All 13 of us paid ₹10,000 each to get a seat in the two vehicles,” Ashfaq said adding that they had to take the risk of travelling such long distance to reach their families in Hyderabad. The students had a tough time finding food. Mercifully, a dhaba owner near Nagpur pitied them and cooked food after the cooks were given mask, sanitiser and gloves.

Memorable experience

For D. Venu, driver of the SUV it was a memorable experience on his maiden trip to Delhi. “I had driven long distance carrying the Ayyappa devotees umpteen number of times. But, this was altogether different experience. We did not get even a cup of tea for almost 200 kms after crossing Nagpur. We managed with biscuits and fruits,” he said expressing satisfaction at ensuring safe journey for the passengers.

Atram Sayudha of Utnoor in K.B Asifabad district, who is still stuck in New Delhi said they were in all six students from Old Adilabad district. “We are confident of hiring a four-wheeler in the next two days to reach our native places,” he added.

All those entering Telangana at Adilabad border check post had to undergo thermal screening. Medical teams put home quarantine stamp for 14 days and issuing medical fitness certificates.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 8:55:37 AM |

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