Residents await restoration of bus services to Old City areas

Hyderabad: Residents of several localities in the Old City have expressed displeasure over the problems they face due to lack of public transport.

The TSRTC bus services connecting localities like Bagh-e-Jahara, SRT Colony, Yakutpura, Tallabkatta, Vattepally, Bibi-ka-Chasma, Nawab Sahib Kunta, Teegalkunta, Kalapather, Ghousenagar, Wadi-e-Omer, Wadi-e-Mustafa, Bismillah Colony, and Shaheennagar with the core areas of the city like Charminar, Koti and Afzalgunj were discontinued during Covid lockdown in 2019. The authorities have failed to resume the services so far.

Private transport, particularly sharing auto rickshaws, which cover the routes are charging high fares, which lower-middle class families can barely afford. A local resident, who commutes between Vattepally and Charminar everyday said he pays Rs 25 for travelling in an auto rickshaw one way.

Another local said, “I travel to Secunderabad for work everyday. I cannot drive a two-wheeler due to back pain. I have a bus pass. Still, I take a shared auto rickshaw from Vattepally Nice Hotel till Engine Bowli, from where I catch a bus to Secunderabad. Earlier, it was easier to travel when there was direct bus connectivity.”

Students have also been facing difficulties in traveling to their respective institutions. Shazia Khanum, a degree student of Hussainialam College, said, “What good are our bus passes when their are no buses running in our locality. There was a direct bus between Teegalkunta to Charminar earlier. Now that the service has been discontinued, our bus concession passes are of no use.” Shazia travels in auto rickshaws and spends over Rs 60 every day on travel. “My parents can barely afford it,” she says.

Speaking to Siasat.com on condition of anonymity, an TSRTC official said, bus services were withdrawn in some areas of the Old City after a survey which showed low passenger occupancy. Continuing the services was economically unfeasible.

He added that the roads are narrow and buses cause frequent traffic jams. He also explained the mini buses were diverted to other routes in the city and some were scrapped because of “wear and tear”.
The official added, “If new buses are provided to us, we will resume the service.”