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While APSRTC & TSRTC squabble, private operators make a killing

While APSRTC & TSRTC squabble, private operators make a killing
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While APSRTC & TSRTC squabble, private operators make a killing

Highlights

Interstate buses to Karnataka and Maharashtra from Telangana have started operations and efforts are on to start services to Chennai. But as far as services between the two neighbouring Telugu states is concerned, it is still not clear when the TSRTC and APSTRC will resolve their logjam

Hyderabad: Interstate buses to Karnataka and Maharashtra from Telangana have started operations and efforts are on to start services to Chennai. But as far as services between the two neighbouring Telugu states is concerned, it is still not clear when the TSRTC and APSTRC will resolve their logjam.

Officials of the two corporations, who held several meetings, failed to come to an understanding. This delay is causing immense problems to the commuters as they have to shell out more money for other means of transportation. Private operators, who have been out of business due to pandemic, are now fleecing passengers by charging them double the amount.

While the APSRTC wants the government to start the services, the TSRTC is insisting that it should be on a parity basis saying that it was facing losses because of improper allocation of buses.

A construction contractor, K Srinivas, said that he had to pay Rs 2,000 to reach his native place in Nellore. Private operators were taking advantage of the situation and charging more. "I had to travel to my native place to attend funeral rites of a relative. I had to pay Rs 2,000 to reach my place since there were no RTC buses and I had no other option," he said.

Similar is the case of G Vikram, a marketing executive, who frequently travels to towns in Andhra Pradesh, said that the private operators have been charging double the existing fares. "During normal days, the ticket prices between Hyderabad and Vijayawada used to be Rs 600 to Rs 650 but now the same ticket is costing Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,300," he said.

With private operators charging more, passengers are opting to travel by lorries and other vehicles risking their lives. "Ticket prices for Hyderabad- Visakhapatnam range from Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000," Vikram said.

Commuters are worried that if the two corporations do not take quick decisions and resume operations, private operators will resort to hiking fares further during Dasara festival. They feel that since officials are not able to resolve the issue, either Transport Ministers or Chief Ministers of both states should step in to resolve the issue before the festival season begins.

The TSRTC operates 700-odd buses between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and the buses have stopped ever since the lockdown was announced. The bone of contention is that APSRTC buses are operated in 71 routes of Telangana and the TSRTC is operating in 28 routes of Andhra Pradesh. The TSRTC has refused to heed to the APSRTC proposal to operate 250 buses from both the sides until a decision is made on the inter-state services.

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