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Andhra Pradesh: Festive plans upset passengers glum as train tickets sold out
- There are long serpentine queues at railway stations in Godavari region for tatkal ticket booking
- The passengers wait for authorities to announce more special train service to ease their problem
Kakinada: Passengers are facing a lot of problems to book train tickets from Secunderabad to various parts of Andhra Pradesh for the New Year and Sankranthi festival. No tickets are available to travel during the upcoming Sankranti season, long waiting lists are pending while quotas are running full. According to sources, many people of Godavari region work in Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and they want to visit their native places during the Sankranti festival to meet parents and relatives. Almost all the trains including Godavari Express, Goutami Express, Falaknuma Express, Konark Express and other trains are displaying no seats during the Sankranti season. Even for the return tickets shows 'Regret' notes in the IRCTC online.
The demand for sleeper class tickets on Goutami Express (12738) is such that the general waiting list is between 220 to 244 during January 10 and the status shows at 11 and 12 regret. As per status of the IRCTC online portal, the situation is same on Garib Rath Express (12740), Godavari Express (12728), Falaknuma express (12704), Visakha Express (17016), LTT VSKP Express (18520). Even those trains going to other states like Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal are full during Sankranti as they pass through Andhra Pradesh.
The passengers depend on tatkal and premium tatkal tickets. There are long serpentine queues at railway stations in Godavari region for tatkal ticket booking. Moreover, the passengers wait for authorities to announce special train service to ease their problem. On the other hand, the private bus operators are taking advantage of travellers in view of the paucity of seats from Hyderabad to Eluru, West and East Godavari districts, Kakinada and hence they wish to enhance the rates. According to sources, the private bus operators are taking 50 per cent extra on normal ticket price. Despite the government's stern action, the private operators are adamant and are meant to exploit passengers. The passengers are demanding immediate and urgent action against the private bus operators. Officials from South Central Railway (SCR) said that special trains have been announced since the end of December and more are expected to be announced before the Sankranti festival.
G Harika, a resident of Hyderabad said that, "we usually travel by train because the ticket prices are less compared to cabs or private buses. But, this year, when I wanted to book tickets from Secunderabad to Kakinada, the waiting list was 244 in a sleeper class compartment." She said that the Railway department should increase the number of special trains. The Kakinada region RTC authorities are planning to run 60 non-A/c special buses with normal charges from Hyderabad to Kakinada and Kakinada to Hyderabad and others. The special bus services would start from January 7 to January 23 on the occasion of Sankranthi festival without additional charges.
According to sources, RTC would run more services to Amalapuram, Bhimavaram, Rajamahendravaram, Visakhapatnam and other routes.
APSRTC Depot Manager, Kakinada, MUV Manohar told 'The Hans India' that the special services will cover, among others, the cities of Hyderabad and Bangalore. He said that the corporation's decision to run special buses, like every year, is to enable people to visit their respective villages and towns.
In view of the anticipated heavy festival rush, the Corporation has decided to deploy enough buses for special services between Hyderabad- Kakinada and Kakinada – Hyderabad and Bangalore routes.