Passengers are coughing up almost double the normal fare. PTI file photo
TIRUPATI: The absence of inter-State bus services between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu is proving painful for passengers at the checkposts in Chittoor district. Families with children, aged persons and luggage, have no option but to get off one bus, cross the border on foot, and board another bus in the neighbouring State.
Adding to their woes, the passengers are coughing up almost double the normal fare to reach their destinations, as the bus operators have split the inter-State journey into two parts.
For instance, RTC or private buses from Tirupati carry TN-bound passengers up to the State border point near Nagari and Uthukottai, from where the passengers catch TN buses heading towards Chennai, Kanchipuram and Tiruttani. Even TNSTC buses are operating in a similar fashion.
Regular passengers, frustrated by the lack of proper transport facilities, questioned the logic behind the ban on inter-State bus services but running buses till the border.
"We are wondering why the TN government has not yet lifted the ban but is allowing people to cross the border on foot. Private bus operators are not even issuing tickets and collecting full fare even for children below five years", lamented Hari Krishna, a seasonal-vendor from Puttur.
Normally, nearly 200 services operate on various routes towards TN from Tirupati, Chittoor and other parts in the district. However, all the services have been suspended due to the restriction imposed by the TN government on inter-State bus services.
Similar is the situation for Karnataka-bound passengers, as the number of APSRTC buses plying to Karnataka also has been brought down to almost 50 from 110.
When contacted, APSRTC officials blamed the TN government for not allowing inter-State services. "After the Covid second wave receded, we resumed services to Karnataka and Hyderabad, but the TN government is yet to lift the ban," said a senior official.