Public yearns for double-decker rides

Hyderabad: Bus commuters and the general public who were enthused by the government’s decision to reintroduce double-decker buses are a disappointed lot after officials of the HMDA said that the vehicles that were flagged off in February were not for public use. The RTC has said it was not in a position to run double-decker services.

Double-decker buses are not only a form of nostalgia for the public, but also accommodate more people and provide a more comfortable travel experience. The HMDA flagged off electric double-decker buses during the Formula-E Grand Prix.

However, HMDA officials told Deccan Chronicle that these buses will only be used for special guests and on occasions, such as the Formula-E race.

“Hyderabad is a global city; we tend to get international and important guests. These iconic buses will be used for them,” an official said.

The double-decker buses were a common sight on city roads till 2003, since they were introduced by the seventh Nizam Mir Osman Ali Khan in 1946.

Kammela Sai Baba, a cricketer who represented Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy, recollected his journey in a double-decker bus. “I passed out from Nizam College in 1975 and played cricket for RTC. With a pass given by them, I used to travel on the Route Number 7 bus, from Clock Tower to Afzalgunj. Double-decker buses were the pride of Hyderabad and the government should bring back these buses for general public use,” he said.

However, officials of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation said that procuring double-decker buses is a tough ask for the corporation, which is struggling to grapple with losses.

M. Nageswararao, former RTC director, urged the state government to take initiative to reintroduce double-decker buses. “If the government allots Rs 20 crore, around 20 buses can be procured. These buses will add to the beauty to the city and enhance the travel for common man.”

Recalling his younger days, he said: “Since 1960, I have many memories attached to double-decker buses. We always used to take the upper deck of the bus; the most pleasant route was the Tank Bund road.”

Md Jameel Ahmad Khan, a retired railway employee, said: “Green double-decker buses were the pride of every Hyderabadi. Many people have memories attached with them — some used to go to college, some came to city and experienced a new thing for the first time in their lives. The stories will be in thousands.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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