MSRTC reports increase in passengers travelling home for Ganesh fest
PUNE The Pune division of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is seeing a rush of passengers leaving the city for the Ganesh festival, all travelling to home towns across Maharashtra. MSRTC has additional buses plying several routes.
Covid norms like social distancing are being maintained at all the ST stands in the Pune division.
“For the last one week we have increased the number of buses on major routes like Kolhapur, Satara, Aurangabad, and Solapur for the Ganpati festival. After the Gauri visarjan day people start travelling. Once the festival ends, the number of passengers coming back to the city will also increase,” said MSRTC Pune divisional controller Ramakant Gaikwad.
Prior to the state-wide lockdown, on an average, 850 buses used to run from the Pune MSRTC division daily. A majority of the buses would start from three major ST stands in Pune – Swargate ST stand, the newly started ST stand at Wakdewadi (earlier at Shivajinagar) and the Pune railway station ST stand.
Private tourist buses are not seeing the same passenger foot-fall.
“There is certainly less business this year and not many passengers are travelling due to the Covid pandemic. Already, a large number of students who were studying in Pune are not there and now even the working people are travelling less,” said Santosh Kadam, owner of Isha travel agency in Swargate.
Ashok Shewale, secretary of the ST bus passengers group, Pune, said, “Pune is the city where hundreds of thousands of students come to study and youth come in search of job opportunities. Due to the pandemic all these passengers have gone away. Once people know they are getting an ST bus to their desired destination, the flow of passengers will increase.”