Vijayawada: The absence of RTC buses between the two Telugu states is preventing hundreds of people from returning to their homes in Andhra Pradesh for Dasara.
Every year, the RTCs of Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh operate extra buses, nearly 3,000, during Dasara to meet the demand. The buses are packed to capacity and the RTCs levy special fares.
This year, the RTCs of the two states that stopped bus services during the lockdown have not resumed them due to a dispute over operating equal number of services.
The APSRTC is operating 1,850 special buses to various places within AP and Karnataka, but Telangana state is not in its plans.
Earlier, 781 APSRTC buses used to ply on 81 routes to Telangana state every day and nearly 500 TSRTC buses used to run on 21 routes to AP. APSRTC buses used to cover 2.60 lakh km and TSRTC buses 1.60 lakh km.
The Telangana state government has been demanding that APSRTC run its buses on par with TSRTC but the AP government has not agreed. Several rounds of talks to resolve the issue have failed.
The absence of direct buses to Hyderabad from AP is forcing people to take private buses which are charging huge fares. Others are taking buses to the nearest point where they can access RTC services of the other state, and taking autorickshaws to cover the distance.
Private employees D. Ramakrishna and K. Venu of Vijayawada who were heading for Hyderabad took an APSRTC service to Jaggaiahpet. They travelled 20 km to Kodad, from where they took a TSRTC service to Hyderabad.
Officials said that APSRTC had proposed to operate buses for 70,000 km on an ad hoc basis but there was no response from TSRTC to run buses. APSRTC ED, operations, K. S. Brahmananda Reddy, said that negotiations on operating bus services between the two RTCs were yet not complete.