By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Of late, people travelling between Vijayawada and Guntur are facing a tough time. Reason: Majority of seven-seater auto-rickshaw and maxi cab drivers have nearly doubled the fare. To escape from this menace, commuters have raised a demand for resumption of APSRTC bus services between both the cities.

“With no intercity bus services available, we can reach Vijayawada either by an auto-rickshaw or maxi cab. Earlier before lockdown, the fare between Vijayawada-Guntur and vice versa was Rs  45 per person.

But now after COVID-19 outbreak, they are charging Rs  80 per person during the day and some Rs  100 at night time,” K Mani Kumar, a sales representative travelling to Vijayawada, said.

D Srinu, an auto-rickshaw driver, said that as per COVID-19 norms, we are allowing only four passengers in the vehicle to ensure social distancing.

“We are providing sanitisers and only allowing those wearing masks to board the vehicles. With a limited number of passengers, we have no option but to charge extra from the passengers to meet our daily needs,” he said.

The private buses which go on the route charge between Rs  50 to Rs  60 per passenger.A cab charges anywhere between Rs  100 and Rs  150 per passenger Speaking to The New Indian Express, APSRTC Krishna regional manager G Nagendra Prasad said that earlier around 100 buses used to operate between Vijayawada and Guntur. But with the spurt in coronavirus positive cases in both the cities, the authorities have decided not to resume the intercity operations, though the intrastate operations have begun from May 21.

“As of now, we don’t have any plans to resume the intercity services, a decision in this regard will be taken by the higher authorities only if the positive cases decrease in both the cities,” he clarified.

Deputy Transport Commissioner S Venkateswara Rao said special teams will be constituted with motor vehicle inspectors to take action against those flouting COVID-19 norms.


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