Until four months ago, Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation used to operate 451 buses to destinations in Andhra Pradesh daily. But with protests against the formation of a Telangana State steadily intensifying in the Seemandhra region, services have dwindled to a bare minimum of 15 buses to Hyderabad from Bangalore.
Transport Minister Ramalinga Reddy said on Saturday that KSRTC was losing nearly `40 lakh daily due to suspension services caused by the protests in Telangana and Seemandra.
The Minister explained that the corporation has stopped all day-time services. “Earlier, KSRTC operated 43 buses from Bangalore to Hyderabad,” Ashok Kumar, chief traffic manager, KSRTC, said.
Given the bleak outlook, KSRTC will not go ahead with any special services for the festive season beginning with Ayudha Pooja, Kumar said. However, he assured that KSRTC and APSRTC were committed to work out solutions to provide good services.
The difficulties caused to frequent travellers on these once-bustling routes are also hard to ignore. With private operators also suspending services, travellers are dependent on trains.
P Govardhan, an HR consultant,used to go to his native Ananthapur district every weekend. He paid about `500 for a return trip by bus. But this convenient routine has been shattered over the past 60 days. “Now, I travel by bike and spend nearly `1,000 rupees. Moreover, after a nearly 220 km-long trip, I come back exhausted having had little rest on the weekend,” he rued.
Kartheek Gujjula shares Govardhan’s exasperation. A software engineer, Kartheek used to go to Andhra Pradesh at least once in two weeks.
He explained “I’ve not gone home for more than 40 days due to lack of buses. Instead of trying to go home, I am planning a trip to Goa.”