Visakhapatnam: Train travellers feel Sankranti blues

Visakhapatnam: Train travellers feel Sankranti blues

The waiting list for sleeper class from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad gone up to 182 from 32. For air-conditioned coaches, the waiting list touches 207. The waiting list for Chennai and Bengaluru trains also crossed 100.

Visakhapatnam: Those who plan to reach their hometowns this Sankranti festival are less likely to get confirmed tickets as the waiting list seems to be longer in trains.

Come Sankranti, there is always a huge demand for tickets for all modes of transport and more so for trains. This year, with the festival falling on Wednesday, many intend to give a skip to work in the garb of 'extended holiday'.

Many plans their itinerary a couple of months ago as they prefer to celebrate 'Pedda Panduga' with their dear ones in their native places.

Though South Central Railway and East Coast Railway add special trains to the fleet in order to clear the extra rush of passengers, it hardly matches the soaring demand during the season. According to the railway officials, about a dozen trains will be operated to help passengers reach different destinations across the country.

The flow of traffic increases manifold as those settled in other states to meet their work, education and business requirements prefer to take a break during Sankranti. Similarly, people who migrated from various cities plan to celebrate the festival in their hometowns. As a result, the demand for tickets goes up a couple of days before the festival and continues a few days after its conclusion.

Though there are families that plan for travel months ahead, a certain section of employees is left with no other choice than indulge in the last-minute rush. "Our leaves are mostly unpredictable, and we get to know about it at the workplace pretty late. At times, our application for long leave gets approved depending on the cancellation made by others. In such a scenario, we are left with no other option than to book our tickets in the last minute," laments B Suresh, working in a private firm.

Tatkal ticket booking tops the list for those who cannot avoid the last minute rush. However, when this option fails to work, buses and cabs turn out to be the next alternatives, of course, that costs triple the original budget set aside for the itinerary.

Among other places, there is a great demand for destinations from Visakhapatnam to Mumbai, New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, Shirdi, Tirupati, Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Bhubaneswar and Kolkata. According to railway officials, over 60,000 passengers board various trains during the festivities.

This season, the waiting list (WL) for sleeper class from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad has gone up to 182 from 32. For air-conditioned coaches, it is even worse as the WL touches 207. Likewise, the WL for Chennai and Bengaluru routes already crossed 100. However, for Tirupati and Shirdi, there is hardly any chance to get WL tickets.

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