Dasara rush begins; all hopes on spl trains, Tatkal

Dasara rush begins; all hopes on spl trains, Tatkal
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Highlights

Dasara festival rush is showing on train tickets with almost all berths and seats of various trains having been booked two months in advance.

Kakinada: Dasara festival rush is showing on train tickets with almost all berths and seats of various trains having been booked two months in advance. Passengers are left with 'tatkal' booking, which is uncertain. According to sources, keeping in view of the heavy rush, the Indian railways is running special trains from prominent railway stations of all zonal railway networks from Dasara festival. The festival is commencing from September 26 and lasts till October 5.

The IRCTC online ticket booking site is showing 'no seats available' in almost all express trains including East Coast, Godavari, Goutami, Falaknuma, Konark and others for both upward and return tickets. No reservation tickets are available for either to come to Godavari districts from Hyderabad or other areas in Telangana or Bengaluru, Chennai during the festival season.

On the other hand, private bus operators are taking undue advantage of the helpless situation of the travellers in view of the paucity of seats from Hyderabad to twin districts. Despite the government's stern action, private operators are continuing to exploit passengers during every festival season.

Hyderabad resident K Sampath said, "We usually travel by train as ticket prices are less compared to cabs or private buses. But this year, when I tried to book tickets from Secunderabad to Kakinada, the waiting list is 137 in a sleeper class compartment." He felt that the railway department should increase the number of special trains, otherwise it is going to be very difficult for people like him.

Due to non-availability of train tickets and high fares of private bus operators, passengers are depending upon APSRTC buses. According to RTC officials, 60% of seats were already booked from Hyderabad to Kakinada. Hence, to clear the rush, RTC will be operating 20 special buses connecting Kakinada with major cities in the State and Hyderabad during Dasara festival. The special services will begin from September 25 onwards.

When 'The Hans India' contacted APSRTC Depot Manager MUV Manohar, he said that the APSRTC decided to run special buses during Dasara festival like every year to enable people to visit their respective villages and towns. Anticipating heavy rush to bus services as train tickets are overbooked, APSRTC has decided to deploy enough buses for special services between Hyderabad - Kakinada, Bangalore – Kakinada, and Kakinada – Hyderabad and Bangalore routes. He said the special services will cover, among others, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Vijayawada cities and will run depending on the passengers' demand.

The Depot Manager said that 60% tickets of regular service were already booked. Special buses will be run from September 25 as demand from October 1st will be high. He asserted that no additional charges will be collected for special buses and only non-AC buses will be plying between Hyderabad and Kakinada and the charges will be Rs 900 per head.

Manohar informed that they are plying regular service between Hyderabad and Kakinada. The charges are for Night Rider Rs 1,350, berth Rs 1,560, Vennela Rs 1,700, Amaravati Rs 1,480, Super Luxury Rs 860, 940, 930 per head.

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