VIJAYAWADA: THE APSRTC bus services to Bengaluru are likely to be hit as the neighbouring Karnataka government has announced complete lockdown of the State capital for a week from July 14 to contain the spread of Covid-19. However, the RTC bus services to other parts of Karnataka will continue as usual, officials averred. After lifting of lockdown, the AP government wrote to Karnataka, Telangana, Odisha and Tamil Nadu to resume interstate bus services. But it got positive response only from Karnataka.
The RTC resumed the operation of bus services between AP and Karnataka on June 17. It is currently running bus services to Bengaluru from Vijayawada and Guntur and to other parts of Karnataka from bordering towns in Anantapur and Rayalaseema. Revenuewise, the RTC has banked on its bus services to Bengaluru. With the Karnataka government’s announcement to shut Bengaluru from July 14 to 22, the RTC is now in a fix. After resumption of services, the RTC started operating 168 buses in the first phase. A total of 60 buses are being operated by the RTC from Anantapur and other parts of Rayalaseema region to Karnataka, which is the highest number from AP. It is operating 10 bus services from Vijayawada and four from Guntur to Bengaluru.
Before lockdown, the RTC used to operate 500 bus services to Karnataka from various parts of the State. But the number of bus services from AP to Karnataka has been limited to 168 now. Asked about cancellation of bus services to Bengaluru, RTC Executive Director (Operations) KS Brahmananda Reddy told TNIE on Sunday that they did not receive any communication from their counterparts in Karnataka pertaining to lockdown in their capital city.
“We came to know that the Karnataka government is going to release the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Monday. Based on it, we will take a call on whether to operate or cancel the RTC bus services to Bengaluru,” the ED said. “Keeping in view of increasing Covid-19 cases in Bengaluru, we have already decided to cancel RTC bus services from Kadapa to the Karnataka State capital on Sundays (July 19 and 26), he said, adding that fare will be refunded to the passengers who booked their bus tickets on the respective dates.