Hosapete-Bengaluru intercity train remains a dream

Hosapete-Bengaluru intercity train remains a dream

More than six years after railway officials in Ballari division recommended the need for a Janshatabdi train between Hosapete and Bengaluru, commuters are yet to get a relief with most of them forced to go by bus by paying triple the fare charged by the railways.

There are two daily trains between Bengaluru and Hosapete, the tourist spot that attracts visitors from world over.

The three weekly trains are not of much use to the commuters as chances of getting a seat in long routes are slimmer.

Hampi Express (Train no 16591/2) and a passenger train (56909/56910) see a high ridership all the time with the waiting list crossing 40% of the total available seats in festive seasons and weekends.

"Passengers are forced to go by buses paying more fare because of not getting accommodation in the trains available at present. If one Janshatabdi train is introduced...that will be of more convenience to the passengers from Hampi and Bengaluru," the chief commercial inspector of South Western Railway had written to the Hubballi division in July 2011.

The letter also gives a breakdown of train and bus fares, with a breakdown for ordinary, express, sleeper and AC fares, showing that the bus fares are triple of what is charged by the railways.

The KSRTC and other state transport corporations run more than 35 buses between the two destinations with fares ranging from Rs 346 (ordinary) to Rs 680 (AC sleeper).

"We have a ridership that is above good all the time. Additional buses are deployed in festive season to accommodate more commuters," a KSRTC official said.

Private operators run about 60 buses, mostly sleepers, which charge less than the KSRTC during lean period and the fares crossing Rs 1,000 during festive season.

"We have been demanding an intercity train from 2010 and it was also voiced by the state government when (B S) Yeddyurappa was the chief minister. But, it has fallen on deaf ears," said Mahesh K, a member of Vijayanagar Railway Action Committee.

He said railway officials had said that running an intercity on Guntakal route requires cooperation from South Central Railway (SCR) and shunting yard at Hosapete station.

"If there is enough room to park the Golden Chariot train for 24 hours in Hosapete, why not shunt a train that helps thousands of people. An intercity will also benefit thousands of people from the border areas in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, which come under SCR. The officials should recognise this demand and propose a train in this budget," he said.

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