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Holiday travel a priced-out affair

Holiday travel a priced-out affair
Highlights

The railways and RTC authorities operating additional special services for the convenience of commuters this festive season notwithstanding, many are forced to shell out huge amount of money for their travel plans. A sensible family prefers to avail taxi services, which appear cheaper, in the given circumstances.

While Railway fares have been hiked for Christmas and Sankranti based on demand, private bus operators have catapulted the fare that in most places starts off with a four-figure rate per seat

The railways and RTC authorities operating additional special services for the convenience of commuters this festive season notwithstanding, many are forced to shell out huge amount of money for their travel plans. A sensible family prefers to avail taxi services, which appear cheaper, in the given circumstances.

The ones bearing the brunt of the street-smart machinations are the pilgrims to Sabarimala and the rest who are travelling to their hometowns for the festive season. There was joy among Ayyappa devotees when 148 special trains were made available when compared to the 132 last year. But, the joy was short-lived as these were not enough to cater to the devotees, who had to fall back on private vehicles.

“The railways will be running 32 trains between major cities to meet the rush during Christmas and New Year. We haven’t taken a call on the number of special trains that would be running for Sankranti. The decision would be taken soon,” said an official from the South Central Railway. It is ditto with the TSRTC authorities, who are likely to announce the schedule in the next couple of days. Railway authorities, who are keen to encash on the demand, have hiked the fare for the special trains.

As Sankranti isn’t all that far away, bookings for trains on January 12 and 13 in major routes from the city are in the waiting list, including East Coast Express, Falaknuma Express, Visakha Express, Garib Rath and Duronto. The Janmabhoomi, Konark Express, Godavari Express and Nagawali Express trains are filling fast.

The same is the case with Bengaluru and Chennai-bound trains. It is not surprising that private buses see the season as an opportunity to acquire their festival bonuses. Big players in the field treble the normal charges and laugh all the way to the banks.

By:Kishore Eppalagudem

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