Monday, October 27, 2008

SWR, KSRTC go the extra mile for Diwali

SWR, KSRTC go the extra mile for Diwali

Express News Service
First Published : 26 Oct 2008 05:03:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 26 Oct 2008 11:54:52 AM IST

BANGALORE: As the festival of lights is nearing, many Bangaloreans are moving out to different places to meet their friends and relatives and there is a huge rush for the trains and buses.

The majestic area, housing the KSRTC and BMTC bus stations, the city railway station and many private tour and travel operators turned a hub of activity, as thousands of Bangaloreans left the city on Saturday to celebrate Deepavali. The festive mood in the air turned into chaos on the road towards the evening, with increasing traffic being accompanied by drizzles.

The South Western Railways (SWR) and Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) have made additional arrangements to accommodate the crowd.

The number of names on the waiting lists for trains from Bangalore has gone up to 250 compared to 40 normally.

Most trains had a waiting list running into 150 to 200 names, during the last three days, said Anwar Hussain, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager, Bangalore Division, South Western Railways.

Waiting lists for trains to all major destinations, including Delhi, Hyderabad, Nagercoil, Kochuveli, Tuticorin, Trichy, Hubli and Mangalore are long.

SWR has been adding special coaches to many trains to handle the holiday rush.

An additional coach was attached to the train bound to Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday. One additional coach each to the trains to Nagercoil and Kochuveli was added on Monday and one each would be added on Sunday as well. Extra coaches are being added to Rajdhani Express, Karnataka Express, Sampark Kranti Express, Kacheguda Express, Rani Chennamma Express and also to trains bound to Trichy and Tuticorin, said Hussain.

KSRTC is running over 700 extra buses from Bangalore to different destinations to handle Diwali rush between October 24 and October 29.

Special buses are plying from Kempegowda bus station to Dharmasthala, Kukke Subramanya, Shimoga, Hassan, Davangere, Hubli, Belgaum, Bijapur, Raichur, Gulbarga, Bellary, Tirupathi, Vijayawada, Hyderabad, Pune and Panaji. Special buses on Mysore routes are plying from Mysore Road satellite bus station, while buses to Tamil Nadu, except Volvo, are plying from Shanthinagar BMTC bus station. Special buses to Madurai, Chennai, Kumbakonam, Trichy, Ooty, Coimbatore, Kodaikanal and other places in Tamil Nadu have been arranged.

The private buses are encashing on the holiday rush.

While most of the private bus operators said that buses on all the routes are full, some said fares would be higher than usual for the few remaining seats.

All the seats in luxury buses on all routes for Saturday night were reserved well in advance. Seats in ordinary buses were being sold at luxury bus fares on Saturday afternoon.

The bus fare to Mangalore in a ordinary bus was as high as Rs 550 compared to the usual Rs 300.

Passengers were charged around Rs 250 to 300 more than the usual fare for a seat in an air-conditioned bus to Bellary.

The exorbitant fares were true for all intra-state destinations.

All private buses to interstate destinations like Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Chennai were reported to be full on Saturday, while some bus operators offered a seat in Sunday’s bus for Rs 200 to 300 extra.

Fare to Pune in a VRL bus on Sunday was Rs 1,365 instead of the usual Rs 1,165.


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