Hyderabad: Many passengers, who were unaware of the strike called by TSRTC employees, turned up at various bus termini only to find private buses and cabs there. Private vehicles are not allowed inside the termini at other times.
City resident N. Srinivas, who reached the Jubilee bus terminus said, “I was not aware of the strike as I was out of town. I have to go to Karimnagar and I have been waiting for more than two hours for an RTC bus. Instead there are private buses. What about the safety of passengers? Who will take the responsibility in case of untoward incidents?”
Many passengers, after waiting for hours, took private buses despite the cost. A ticket to Vijayawada normally costs Rs 350. But the rate prevalent on Saturday was between Rs 800 and Rs 1,200. Some passengers instead went to railway stations to catch special trains.
On RTC tickets that had been reserved in advance, an official of the corporation said the face value of the ticket would be refunded.
A representative of the South Central Railway said the main stations within the twin cities saw 50 per cent more passengers than usual. The waiting rooms and platforms were crowded, and so were the trains.
While RTC services within the city were largely unavailable, some school buses were seen ferrying city passengers. “I was surprised to see school buses carrying short distance commuters. It is good that they are helping us out during a crisis,” said Taneesh, a passenger.
Some autorickshaw drivers made a killing by overcharging passengers, though Rachakonda traffic police personnel put up placards asking drivers not to overcharge customers.
However, for most part and on many routes, cab fares remained normal....