Larger Numbers of Voters Come to Godavari Districts to Cast Vote

Kakinada: In a heightened frenzy, larger numbers of voters from cities like Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune arrived in East Godavari region to cast their votes this time.

Even the Sankranthi festival did not see the arrival of as many natives from distant places. The voters traveled by cars, trains, buses and other modes of transport to be present at their polling booths on Monday. However, return tickets are not easily available. Trains and RTC buses are packed with passengers and no reservations are available in the coming days, it is learnt.

Private bus operators have hiked the charges abnormally. AC sleeper coach buses from Rajamahendravaram and Kakinada to Hyderabad quoted a rate of `2500 to `4,000 per passenger, while it was `4,000 to `5,000 to Bengaluru and other places.

The voters said they came to Kakinada, Rajamahendravaram etc on Saturday with great difficulty, but now there is no way to get a booking for their return journey in the immediate future.

The Railways ran special trains to cater to the sudden rush of passengers. In these too, it was difficult to get reservations as the waiting list stretched 200 plus. Though the railways laid special bogies to all trains, this helped only to a limited extent.

Some of the passengers caught Vijayawada buses and then headed for Secunderabad from there.

“In Vijayawada also, tickets are not available,’’ said software engineer Aravind. He said the governments should apply curbs on the fares of private buses.

“Previously, the government used to fix the auto charges in twin cities - Secunderabad and Hyderabad. On the same lines, the government should fix fares for the private luxury buses on long-distance journeys,” he proposed.

He said that in off-season times, the private bus operators quoted rates lower than that of RTC, but hiked the fares abnormally during special seasons.

R. Sunitha of Visakhapatnam said that in such situations, the RTC should run more special buses to meet the rush.

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