In view of the massive rush, GMR Toll Plaza opened 10 additional lanes for the vehicles.

An APSRTC bus standing in a queue lineImageCredit/IdreesMohammed
news Transport Friday, January 13, 2023 - 18:54
Railway stations and bus stations in Hyderabad were packed with passengers while Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway saw traffic jams on Friday as thousands of families headed to their native places in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for Sankranthi.
With both the Telugu states declaring holidays from a day before Sankranthi festivities, people left for their villages by trains, buses or whatever mode of transport available. Many families left in their own four-wheelers. Toll plaza at Patangi in Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district was teeming with hundreds of cars.  Every year, an estimated two million people from Hyderabad and its surroundings visit their hometowns for Sankranthi. Majority of them head towards coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions. It leaves the usually busy roads and intersections in Hyderabad rather deserted.

The queue of vehicles was seen for nearly a kilometer. Despite the Fast Tag facility, the huge number of vehicles and the problem in scanning Fast Tag for some vehicles led to a massive traffic jam. In view of the massive rush, GMR Toll Plaza opened 10 additional lanes for the vehicles. Rachakonda police and GMR Toll Gate staff were trying to tackle the situation.

Trains and buses to various destinations in both the Telugu states were overcrowded with people, who were in a hurry to be with their near and dear ones to celebrate the harvest festival on January 14. Dozens of special trains run by the railways and hundreds of buses operated by the state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) were proving inadequate to tackle the rush.

Families were seen waiting for hours to board the trains and buses to their destinations. Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) and other bus stands at Dilsukhnagar and L.B. Nagar was teeming with people, looking to catch the next available bus to their hometowns. With a large number of vehicles waiting in queues at toll plazas, TSRTC Managing Director V.C. Sajjanar urged people not to waste their time at toll gates by travelling to their native places in their vehicles but instead use TSRTC buses.

On the request of the TSRTC, authorities have provided dedicated toll gates for TSRTC buses. The TSRTC is operating 4,233 special buses for people going to their hometowns for Sankranthi. These buses are being operated from two major bus stations and six other points around Hyderabad. The TSRTC has appealed to people not to shell out extra money by travelling in private vehicles.

Massive rush of passengers was seen at Secunderabad and Hyderabad railway stations. The South Central Railway (SCR) is operating special trains to clear the rush. Around 21 additional ticket counters at Secunderabad Station were also added to tackle the rush. This is in addition to 12 ticket counters which work on normal days. In view of the Sankranthi rush, SCR has deployed additional staff to provide information to passengers. Number of ticket checking staff and Railway Protection Force (RPF) has also been increased.

Sankranthi offers an opportunity to people to re-visit their roots. A large number of techies, students, government and private employees and also businessmen from coastal Andhra never miss the opportunity to visit their native places. Their children enjoy the holiday with a feel of the countryside. They celebrate the holiday by visiting the fields, flying kites, watching decorated bulls, cock-fights, bullock-cart races, and other rural sports that are organised on the occasion
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