With all other means of transport via rail and road closed following violent clashes in Haryana even on the strategic Chandigarh-Ambala-Panipat-Delhi route (NH-1), airfares from Chandigarh saw a massive spike from Friday night onwards.
The airfare between Chandigarh and Delhi by Spicejet was Rs 16,832, Indigo Rs 15,047, and Jet at Rs 26,039, on February 20. Surprisingly, the rates from Delhi to Chandigarh were less. Tickets for Spicejet Delhi-Chandigarh was available at Rs 6,121; Indigo at Rs 6,121, on trip-booking websites such as Makemytrip. The Delhi airfare was Rs 4,000-8,000 till February 18 evening, and had shot up to Rs 16,000-20,000 on February 19.
An official of Spicejet confirmed the hike as being a result of the clashes in Haryana that affected other transport. Officials from Air India, Go Air, Indigo and Air Asia too confirmed the hike and said that the flights now had no seats left till Monday. One of the senior officials of Spicejet also said that the prices had increased suddenly because a large number of people were booking the tickets at the last moment; “otherwise the tickets were sold at Rs 6,000-7,000 a few days ago”.
Meanwhile, all the express trains and passenger trains on the route of Chandigarh, Ambala and Delhi remained cancelled for the second day causing inconvenience to a large number of passengers. On Saturday, Haryana Roadways and all the Volvo buses also stopped running on the Delhi route.
While no Volvo bus was seen at the bus stand in Sector 17, Haryana Roadways had displayed notices on several counters stating, “Haryana roadways buses all route closed because of road closed.” Along with it, was another notice stating, “For eTicket refund email id – firstname.lastname@example.org.”
One of the harried passengers at the bus stand, Rupal Garg, said, “I was going to my parents’ home in Jaipur and had already got my tickets booked with Haryana Roadways, but here we got to know that no bus is running on that route. My husband decided to drop me to Delhi by car but then there is no way to reach by road anyway now due to the agitation.”
The railway station board on Saturday issued a notification stating that as many as 91 mail/express trains and 97 passenger trains remained cancelled on February 20. However, on February 21, as many as 20 express trains including Kalka-New Delhi Shatabdi, Bikaner-Delhi, Sriganganagar-Howrah, Chandigarh-Jaipur, Sirsa-Tilak, Katra-Kota, Amritsar-New Delhi shane Punjab, Amritsar-Delhi Shatabdi, Amritsar-Ajmer, Jammu Tawi-New Delhi, Katra Delhi mail, Katra-New Delhi Shakti Express, Katra-New Delhi SK Express, Hoshiarpur-Delhi express, Ferozepur-Mumbai Punjab Mail, Jammu Tawi- Delhi Duronto, Jammu Tawi-Delhi Duronto, Ajmer-Jammu Tawi Puja Express, and the Nanded-Sriganganagar express, will remain cancelled.
On Sunday, four passenger trains including Nangal-Saharanpur, Ambala-Meerut, Saharanpur-Nangal, and Ambala-Ludhiana will also remain cancelled.
Even on February 22, nine express trains including Sriganganagar-Howrah Toofan, Amritsar-New Delhi Shatabdi, Amritsar-New Delhi Intercity, Pathankot -Delhi Express, Jalandhar-New Delhi Intercity, Ferozepur-Delhi express, Fazilika-Delhi express, Nanded-Sriganganagar express and Pune – Jammu Tawi express, will remain cancelled.