Hyderabad: Whenever there is a festival around people hear the jingle of “Coming Home”. The great excitement to reach home also brings about hustle and bustle around.
With lakhs of people packing bags to go to their hometowns in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Sankranti, bus and railway stations in the city have been crowded with people and vehicles creased up in never-ending rows at the toll plazas.
All the roads leading towards Vijayawada, Warangal, Kurnool, and other parts of Telangana and AP were blocked by huge numbers of vehicles. People rushed to reach home in time for Sankranti with any mode of transport available.
To clear the festive rush, the South Central Railway (SCR) is operating over 200 special trains. The number of ticket counters has been increased to 21 from 12 at the Secunderabad Railway Station.
Secunderabad-Vishakhapatnam Vande Bharat Express reservations begin Sunday
Similarly, the count for the ticketing checking staff was increased from 20 to 40 to ensure that passengers board the correct train. Ticket checkers will ensure that those without reservations do not board the train causing inconvenience to passengers on board.
Special directives have been issued to reduce the possibility of a stampede or people bumping into each other.
TSRTC has also launched 4000 special buses on the occasion of Sankranti alongside a bus tracking app for passengers to track their journey. “Don’t waste your time by going to Sankranti in your vehicles and waiting for hours at toll plazas. Travel by TSRTC buses and reach destinations faster through dedicated lanes at toll plazas,” said TSRTC MD VC Sajjanar.
Amid the huge demand, private transporters hike fares and charge exorbitant prices to the passengers. Hundreds of vehicles heading for Vijayawada from Hyderabad waited for hours for clearance at the two toll plazas at Korlapadu in Nalgonda district and Panthangi in Yadadri district on the National Highway 65 on Friday.
To reduce traffic at toll gates, toll plazas have also reduced gate lifting time from four seconds to two for vehicles with FASTag.
On normal days, 25,000 vehicles go toward Vijayawada. However, the numbers have more than doubled for Sankranti. Ambulances and crane services have been deployed for emergencies.