Sankranti rush has already begun at bus stands and railway stations. People, who want to celebrate Sankranti festival in their native villages, are thronging ticket counters to make advance bookings.
With schools and colleges announcing Sankranti vacations, parents plan trip for the harvest festival, which is said to be the biggest. All villages will sport a festive look right from the year-end till the end of the three-day festival.
Thousands of people of Andhra Pradesh, who were in software field and working in multi-national companies, and settled in Karnataka, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and other States will visit their native villages to celebrate Sankranti with their families and friends.
The South Central Railway (SCR) and the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) are running additional services for the convenience of the passengers during the festival, and provided advance reservation facility.
Serpentine queues were seen in the bus and railway stations to reserve tickets to different destinations for the festival even after a large section of the passengers booked their tickets online.
“We planned about 2,000 special buses to different destinations from Hyderabad. Special buses will be operated in addition to the regular buses to Tirupati, Visakhapatnam, Ongole, Rajamahendravaram, Kakinada, Vijayawada and other cities,” said an APSRTC official who is monitoring the special services during Sankranti festival.
‘50% extra fare’
Buses would also be run to Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and other destinations from Vijayawada, Bhimavaram, Kakinada, Tirupati, Anantapur, Visakhapatnam and other places, the officer said adding that the corporation will collect 50% extra fare on all special services.
“Reservations in regular services have been closed and the response for special buses is good,” the officer said. As per the revised fares, APSRTC was charging ₹655 in Amaravati bus from Vijayawada to Hyderabad, ₹595 for Garuda service, ₹410 in Super Luxury, ₹395 in Ultra Deluxe and ₹325 in Express buses.
From Vijayawada to Chennai, the fare was ₹1,075 in Amaravati, ₹935 in Garuda, ₹680 in Super Luxury, ₹650 in Ultra Deluxe and ₹540 in Express service, after fare hike..
Passengers express fear over exorbitant fares in private travels, as the APSRTC increased fares, and is collecting extra charges for special buses during the festival season.
“Normally, during Sankranti and Dasara festivals, private travel operators collected between ₹2,000 and ₹3,000 per head (adults) and on occasion even more as per demand for tickets from Vijayawada to Hyderabad. This year, private buses may charge more as the APSRTC hiked charges recently,” said a passenger V. Renuka Sri, a private employee.