Absence of passenger trains affects commuters

In the meantime, since the authorities have not started issuing seasonal tickets, the daily commuters are forced to pay huge sums to travel to their workplaces. 
Absence of passenger trains affects commuters

MAHABUBNAGAR: It is a known fact that the Covid-induced lockdown had a telling effect on all sectors in the district, until the Central and State governments initiated the unlock process. However, though most sectors have slowly returned to normalcy, the railway sector is still struggling a lot.As a result, scores of railway employees are in dire straits as the department concerned has not resumed several services. In the meantime, the absence of several passenger train services has started affecting the lives of many daily commuters, who depend solely on trains to travel to their workplaces.

According to sources, about 10,000 persons belonging to Gadwal, Wanaparthy, Mahbubnagar, Jadcherla and Shadnagar used to travel by the nine passenger trains which operated via Mahbubnagar.Most of these passenger trains, which began operations from Secunderabad and Kacheguda railway stations, used to cover Mahbubnagar, Guntur, Kurnool, Guntakal and Raichur. 

Express trains

Meanwhile, after the Centre announced the nationwide lockdown in mid-March, the South Central Railways (SCR) discontinued these passenger services. Though the unlock process began three to four months later, the department authorities have not resumed the passenger services. As a result, scores of daily commuters are forced to travel by express trains such as those to Chennai Egmore,  Tungabadra, Jaipur, Yaswanthpur and Dharmawaram, which have only limited halts.

In the meantime, since the authorities have not started issuing seasonal tickets, the daily commuters are forced to pay huge sums to travel to their workplaces. Many daily commuters, who previously used to purchase season tickets for about Rs 350 to Rs 500 to travel up to 150 km, are now forced to pay sums which are several times higher.Meanwhile, as it would cost the daily commuters Rs 100 to travel by buses, they are forced to take express train tickets which cost twice the amount they used to pay for passenger train tickets.

Locals irked

Speaking to Express, Lakshmanji Chaudhary, a private employee from Jadcherla, said: “I work as a data entry operator in Panjagutta for a monthly salary of Rs 15,000. I used to travel to Panjagutta on passenger trains till the lockdown started. However, now I am forced to take buses which cost up to Rs 250 daily and about half of my salary is being spent on travel expenses.”Senior Divisional Manager (Operations) Venakanna told Express that they do not have any information regarding the resumption of passenger services.

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