VIJAYAWADA: In order that they should not be late due to the ongoing RTC staff strike, many students, who have opted for Vijayawada Eamcet centre, have reached the city on Thursday itself. However, allaying their fears, the officials say there is no cause for worry as alternative transport arrangements have been made.
According to sources, 40,699 candidates are appearing for the examination at 81 centres in Vijayawada region. Of them, nearly 15,000 students hail from places surrounding Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Guntur and Ongole and other regions. Due to the strike of RTC employees, the students feel that the bus strike is a real test for them.
“Having no choice, we are forced to come to Vijayawada one day before, that is, Thursday,” said Ch Kumar Raju, native of Rajahmundry, who opted for Vijayawada centre, said.
Though the government has assured that alternative transport facilities will be provided to students to reach their destination, the students are making their own arrangements shelling out big bucks. “We don’t know what the situation will be on Friday. We don’t want to take the risk as there is a strict rule that the students will not be allowed even if they are late by a minute after 10 am,” said S Ravi Kiran, an engineering seat aspirant from Machilipatnam.
Meanwhile, private travels and autos are cashing in on the situation by doubling the fares. The autos are collecting `80 from Vuyyuru to Vijayawada as against the normal bus fare of `30. They are collecting `100 for Machilipatnam which is double the actual fare. “Left with no choice, we are forced to travel in the private vehicles,” lamented V Bhaskar, who reached Vijayawada to write Eamcet along with his friends a day before the exam.
Meanwhile, the Krishna district administration has made alternative transport arrangements for the people and some special arrangements for Eamcet candidates.
Briefing mediapersons after a video conference with the Chief Secretary and other higher officials in Hyderabad, collector Babu A said every effort is made to arrange adequate number of buses to see that people are not subjected to any inconvenience.
“Today, 221 RTC buses along with 235 hired buses were operated on various routes. This works out to 36 per cent of the regular services. Nearly 250 driver recruits will be drafted for duty in a phased manner after their skills are tested thoroughly,” he said.
In regard to transport arrangements for the candidates appearing for Eamcet at 81 centres in the city, the collector said 4,500 buses belonging to private colleges and schools will be roped in. “The government has decided to allow 30 minutes grace period to late-comers,” he said.
Commissioner of police AB Venkateswara Rao said the department had made elaborate arrangements to ensure there were no untoward incidents. The CP said vehicles of the police department, including motorcycles, would be used to help students reach exam centres in time. The students could dial 100 for police vehicles, he concluded.