Home-bound families have started boarding buses to go to their towns for the festivals. However, private bus operators have increased ticket prices, making travel during the festive season expensive. This is because there are no regulations on ticket prices for private bus operators. The Secunderabad, Kacheguda, and Nampally railway stations are also experiencing a rush of people traveling to their destinations. Secunderabad, being the biggest railway station in the twin cities, has been busy since early morning.
The Dasara holidays for educational institutions have begun, and schools and colleges will remain closed for 13 days for Bathukamma and Dasara festivities. People are traveling to their native places by buses and trains. The TSRTC and private buses are being used by families to celebrate the festivals in their hometowns. However, private bus operators have increased fares for buses traveling across Telangana, AP, and neighboring states.
During the 13-day holidays, bus and railway stations are crowded with hundreds of men, women, and children. The Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) in Secunderabad, Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) in the Old City, and Uppal bus stations in the twin cities are jam-packed. Many people from Hyderabad and its surroundings visit their hometowns for the Bathukamma festival. Around 15 lakh people from Hyderabad and its surroundings are estimated to visit their hometowns, with many traveling to districts of Telangana and AP. The buses going to Assam, Odisha, and other neighboring states are also overcrowded.
However, families at all bus stations have to wait for hours for buses to arrive. The ticket prices vary on different online booking sites and from one travel agency to another. Private operators are charging double the usual fare during the festive season, which has caused dissatisfaction among passengers. Some private bus operators have even stopped online bookings temporarily to create a shortage and increase prices. Passengers have reported paying extra money for tickets due to the increased fares.
The private operators justify the high fares during festivals by claiming that they have to sell tickets at cheaper prices on normal days. Meanwhile, the railway stations in Secunderabad, Kacheguda, and Nampally are also witnessing a rush of families waiting to board trains. Secunderabad, being the biggest railway station in the twin cities, has been busy since early morning.
To ensure a smooth journey for passengers during festivals, the TSRTC is operating 5,265 special buses from October 13 to 24. This year, there are 1,000 more buses than the previous festive season.