Operators keep their plans, buses ready in Nellore, Ongole to meet Dasara rush

Day services to Vijayawada to enable passengers to have darshan at Kanaka Durga temple and return by evening

Day services to Vijayawada to enable passengers to have darshan at Kanaka Durga temple and return by evening

The hustle and bustle associated with Dasara is back with a bang in south coastal Andhra Pradesh as the health situation arising out of COVID-19 has fully come under control. After a gap of two years, both the State-run Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) and private bus operators have geared up to rake in the mullah thanks to pent up demand for travel and holidaying during the nine-day festival. This is the time when people make it a point to travel long distances to their native places and organize gala celebrations with their near and dear ones.

Over 200 special bus services will be run by the APSRTC from, among other places, Nellore and Ongole in south coastal Andhra region to Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam. Only normal bus fares are charged by the APSRTC to avoid fleecing of the passengers by private bus operators even as the latter overhauled their buses to run without any hitch shuttle services during the nine days when they expect the passengers rush to go up in geometric proportion.

“We have drawn up an action plan to ply over 100 special bus services from Ongole and four other depots in the district to Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and other places,” says APSRTC Ongole Regional Manager B. Sudhakar.

Depending on the demand special bus services will be run to Chennai and Bengaluru also. Twenty additional bus services will be plied to Hyderabad especially between September 30 and October 6 when the passenger rush is expected to peak, he tells. The Hindu.

People should prefer to travel by the APSRTC which has not only put into service overhauled buses but also does not charge extra. “We have kept ready additional buses to meet any spurt in demand as the D-day approaches,” Mr. Sudhakar adds.

From Nellore, 100 bus services to Hyderabad, 20 special services each to Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam and Bengaluru will be run, APSRTC sources say.

Extra fare

As the celebrations peak the fare, especially in private buses, goes up by two to three times. “Passengers will have to pay ₹3,000 for traveling by an air-conditioned sleeper bus from Nellore to Hyderabad if they book their tickets well in advance. Those who finalize their travel plans at the 11th hour should be prepared to shell out more, especially during the week ending September 30 and up to Vijayadasami falling this time on October 5,” says a travel agent in Ongole on condition of anonymity.

Special Dasara bus services will be run to Vijayawada from Nellore and Ongole by private bus operators during day time to enable devotees to have darshan of the mother goddess at Indrakeeladri and return home the same day. The same bus after returning to Nellore will leave for Hyderabad the same night. “We are fully prepared to work overtime to meet the additional passenger rush this year,” adds a private bus driver S. Venkateswara Rao.

Road Transport department authorities should be on their toes to prevent sale of bus tickets in black, says Poura Samajam president G. Narasimha Rao.

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