Tirupati: People gear up to travel by trains
- In view of the Dasara, people began booking train tickets
- A few more trains, including Kerala express between Trivandrum to New Delhi and Duronto Express between Yeshwantpur-Howrah junction will pass through Vijayawada
- A double decker AC train will run between Tirupati and Visakhapatnam from Oct 14
Tirupati: Leaving behind fears of coronavirus, people are gearing up to travel to their preferred destinations during the coming Dasara festival. Since the Janata curfew on March 22, the movement of trains was stopped across the country and has been partially restored from June 1 with 200 trains only.
Out of these, Tirupati has got one train–Rayalaseema express from Tirupati to Nizamabad. Even that train has witnessed poor patronage all these days with 300-400 passengers travelled daily amid Covid norms. The number has gradually increased to 600 and to 1000 recently.
Due to poor patronage amidst the fear of Covid-19, no other train was run from Tirupati till some time back. Subsequently, the railways has introduced a few more trains, among them Kerala express from Trivandrum to New Delhi runs via Tirupati. Another train Duronto express between Yeshwantpur to Howrah junction touches Renigunta station. These two trains pass through Vijayawada. In view of Dasara festival, a double decker AC train was announced which will run between Tirupati and Visakhapatnam from October 14.
As the festival will be celebrated from October 21 to 25, all the sleeper class tickets in Rayalaseema and Kerala expresses were already booked for travel from October 17 and now they have a huge waiting lists. While the AC tickets are available in Rayalaseema express, but for Kerala express it is showing waiting list. The status for various classes of Duronto express also shows waiting list. Only the double decker train from Tirupati to Visakhapatnam which has only seating facility without berths is having many vacant seats. As no new trains can be announced immediately, people have no option but to look for alternative modes of travel.
The senior DCM of Guntakal division B Prasantha Kumar told The Hans India that as the economy opens up people are also gradually travelling through railways which is a good indication. Keeping in view of the current situation, proposals to run few more trains will be submitted to the Railway board. He said that with more trains being operated the activity at the stations will also come to a normal stage.
However, since the government has thrown everything open, putting the onus of taking Covid 19 precautions on the people, they need to follow all safety measures before boarding trains.
Following the guidelines, railways have been confined to only awareness activities. As the trains are going to be full, people should not forget to wear a mask and keep a hand sanitiser with them, said another official.