This Sankranti festival, if you are planning to visit your hometown, then it could be taxing as the seats on modes of transport are booked and your pockets too are likely to be burned. Tickets in majority of trains and buses are already sold out and few are available in flights.
Since Wednesday night, passenger rush has picked up considerably at railway stations and bus stations in twin cities with people heading to different areas, particularly the coastal districts.
In addition to regular trains, South Central Railway is operating 22 special trains between Hyderabad and coastal districts. Such was the rush on Thursday that railway authorities claimed to have added 38 extra coaches in different trains.
Depending on ticket waiting list, authorities decide on adding more coaches. There is heavy demand for tickets on Hyderabad-Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad-Vijayawada sectors, if need be extra coaches would be added on Friday and Saturday too, says SCR spokesperson.
Similar is the case with buses. Till Friday night, APSRTC operated 2,500 special buses to different areas, charging 50 per cent extra fare. Yet, unmindful of fare, people have purchased tickets in these buses well in advance. Regular fare for a ticket to Vijayawada from Hyderabad in a RTC super luxury bus is about Rs.225 and Rs.380 in an air-conditioned bus. But passengers, who booked tickets in special buses, had to pay about Rs.320 and Rs.570 respectively. And if you thought hiring a cab could be a best option, then you may have to shell out double the regular fare. People have booked about 800 cabs for travelling towards different coastal districts, says Prakash Reddy, secretary of Twin Cities Cab Operators Association.
Usually flight tickets are booked in advance and all tickets for flights heading towards Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Rajahmundry are sold out. A few tickets are available for Saturday and people would not mind paying exorbitant fares to purchase them, says Travel Agents Association (Hyderabad Chapter) secretary Ajay Kumar Ramidi. Cashing in on the occasion, private bus operators are fleecing passengers with disdain. Generally, ticket fare in a private bus for Vijayawada is Rs.300 (non-AC) and Rs.550 (AC) but this season, operators are demanding Rs.500 and Rs.1, 000 respectively.