Hyderabad – As the Sankranti festival beckons, the Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway experienced traffic jams on Friday, with thousands of families heading to their native places. Toll plazas, including the Pattangi toll plaza near Hyderabad, witnessed long queues of cars, buses, and other vehicles. In response, authorities opened an additional 10 gates and ensured the smooth movement of vehicles through the toll plaza with the Fast Tag facility. Despite the usual daily traffic of 38,000 vehicles, the Sankranti rush is expected to increase the number to around 70,000.
Railway and bus stations in Hyderabad were bustling with passengers embarking on their journeys to Telugu states for the festival. With Sankranti holidays for educational institutions commencing, families were seen preparing to celebrate the harvest festival with their loved ones.
To accommodate the festive rush, the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) announced the operation of 4,484 special buses from January 6 to 15, covering destinations within the state and neighboring states. Notably, regular fares without any hike will be applicable to these special buses, ensuring affordable and secure travel during the festive season.
The Mahalakshmi initiative, providing free travel for women in TSRTC buses in Telangana, is likely to contribute to the increased rush. TSRTC Managing Director V. C. Sajjanar assured that all necessary arrangements, including additional facilities and safety measures, have been put in place to accommodate the surge in passengers. He urged citizens to choose safe travel in TSRTC buses over private buses with higher fares.
Special arrangements at major bus stations and additional facilities at boarding points have been made, with CCTV cameras installed to monitor passenger crowds. Sankranti, a significant festival drawing an estimated two million people from Hyderabad to their hometowns, offers a chance for individuals to reconnect with their roots and partake in traditional festivities. The festival sees a mass exodus of techies, students, government and private employees, and businessmen heading to coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to celebrate with their families and engage in rural traditions and sports.