Keeping in mind the increase in number of people travelling to and from the city before and during Diwali, transport bodies like the Central Railway (CR) and the Maharashtra State Road Transport corporation (MSRTC) have already increased their respective number of services.
CR Public Relations Officer (Pune Division) Y K Singh said, “We have increased the number of trains to facilitate passengers. We hope this helps commuters and they utilise it to their benefit. Eight special trains for Nagpur and Gorakhpur have been pressed into action.”
Commenting on the kind of arrangement the MSRTC had made for its commuters, Divisional Traffic officer (DTO) M M Shaikh said about 2,500 additional services had been introduced for Diwali. “These buses are for Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur and Marathwada,” he said.
Shaikh informed that ‘special trips’ and additional employees have been arranged to work between October 30 and November 2. “Special buses will run from Market Yard to Sangli, Satara, Kolhapur from gate number four,” he said.
“I request the passengers to book tickets in advance so that they don’t have to run helter-skelter at the eleventh hour. Also, by booking in advance, they’ll have to pay less. A lot of space is available near Market Yard so that passengers can stand in queues.
This has been done to reduce stress at the Swargate depot.” He added that extra buses would also run from the College of Engineering, Pune grounds in Shivajinagar.
“If we find that more buses are needed on particle a route, their numbers shall be increased as per the demand. Timings can also be adjusted. Currently, extra buses are running on the Pimpri to Kolhapur route, as the existing ones are completely booked,” Shaikh said.
Swapnil Moghe, an engineering student, said, “I’m happy that the number of trains to Nagpur have increased, as every year we have to fight to get tickets.”
Tanvi Phuley, who travels to Kolhapur every Diwali, said, “The increased number of buses for Kolhapur is a breather.
Every year, I pay double the amount to travel by private transport. This year I’ll travel by a state transport bus and save money. I hope that bus timings are proper so that we don’t start or reach at odd hours. If timings are feasible, then a lot of people are going to travel by bus.”
For train no 12222 (Howrah–Pune Duranto Express), a 3-tier air-conditioned coach has been augmented with immediate effect. The same has been done for train no 12221 (Pune–Howrah Duranto Express). Both additions are permanent. Duranto Express is a bi-weekly train, leaving from Pune on Mondays and Saturdays at 3.15 pm, and from Howrah on Thursdays and Saturdays at 8.20 am.
SWPNMY is the code passengers must look for while booking tickets online for buses starting from the Market Yard depot
>> Train no 01236: Will leave Nagpur at 11 am every Friday and arrive in Pune at 4.05 am the next day. The service will remain operational from Oct 25 to Nov 15
>> Train no 01235: Will leave Pune at 05.20 am every Saturday and arrive in Nagpur at 10.10 pm the same day. The service will remain operational from Oct 26 to Nov 16
>> Train no 05023: Will leave for Gorakhpur every Thursday. The service will remain operational from Oct 10 to Nov 14, during which the train will make a total of 6 trips
>> Train no 05024: Will leave Pune every Saturday. The service will remain operational from Oct 12 to Nov 16, during which the train will make a total
of 6 trips