As the festive occasion of Raksha Bandhan draws near, a surge in travel demand has led to fully booked trains, buses, and flights, causing travellers to scramble for available options. With confirmed train tickets in short supply and waiting lists exceeding 200, flight fares have skyrocketed. Furthermore, the passenger volume on buses has experienced a notable uptick of 22%.
Just four days ago, roadway buses were accommodating 80% of their capacity, but this Sunday, August 27, 2023, that number surged to a staggering 102%. In response, RoadwayS management has taken proactive measures by arranging for additional buses to handle the surge in demand. In a concerning trend, private buses have also reached full occupancy, taking advantage of the situation by implementing arbitrary fare hikes. Travel operators have increased their charges by a margin of 20 to 50 percent.
The heaviest traveller traffic has been observed on routes originating from Udaipur, particularly those headed to Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai. This influx of passengers has even spilled over into the normal coaches of both trains and roadways buses, as individuals strive to reach their destinations despite the challenging circumstances.
Over the past month, train reservations have reached full capacity, causing significant congestion. The waiting lists for trains to major destinations such as Jaipur, Delhi, and Mumbai have exceeded 100 passengers. Notably, the Chetak Express, operating between Udaipur and Delhi, currently has a waiting list of 70 passengers, while the Mewar Express boasts a substantial waiting list of 200. In the case of daily trains bound for Jaipur, all four are completely booked. The strain on available seats is further evident as the Jaipur Intercity Pvt Express has amassed a waiting list of 102, while the Jaipur SF Express follows closely with 84 hopeful travellers on its waiting list. The Khajuraho Express, too, is grappling with a high demand, leading to a waiting list of 167 passengers.
Passenger volume has witnessed a notable surge since last Saturday, resulting in a high demand for transportation services. A significant portion of buses are presently operating at full capacity. Long-distance trains have experienced a considerable increase in footfall, while short-distance trains are nearly at full occupancy. This trend of heightened demand has persisted over the past three days.
On August 24, 2023, buses reported an occupancy rate of 80%. The following day, on August 25, 2023, bus occupancy rose to 84%. Notably, this figure further escalated to 91% on the subsequent Saturday and peaked at an astonishing 102% on Sunday. Anticipating a continued rise in these figures today and tomorrow, the roadways management has taken comprehensive measures to address the situation.
Hemant Sharma, Chief Manager of the Udaipur Depot, affirmed that the roadways management is fully prepared. Additional buses will be promptly deployed at stations experiencing an increase in passenger load due to the Raksha Bandhan festivities. As the travel demand continues to intensify, travellers are encouraged to consider early planning and booking to ensure a smooth journey during this bustling period.
A significant number of private buses are currently operating at full capacity, leading to a noticeable surge in fares compared to regular days. The highest passenger traffic is observed for routes headed to Delhi and Jaipur. Notably, the fare for the Udaipur to Jaipur route has experienced an increase from Rs 800 to approximately Rs 1100-1200, marking a substantial rise of around 50%.
The airfare for flights operating between Udaipur and major cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, and Mumbai has seen a notable increase. On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan, the flight fares have nearly doubled. This surge in prices is anticipated to continue on Tuesday. As of August 28, the airfare for a Udaipur to Delhi flight stands at 9500 Spur (up until 7:30 pm on August 28), as opposed to the regular range of Rs. 4,000- 5,000. The fare for the Udaipur to Jaipur route is currently set at Rs. 5733.
Source: Dainik Bhaskar