Ahead of the Sankranti festival season, bus and railway stations are teeming with passengers heading to their hometowns in large numbers. In the last couple of days, the passenger rush has steadily been increasing at Secunderabad and Kacheguda Railway stations. The rush was also considerably high at Mahatma Gandhi and Jubilee Bus Stations.

Both South Central Railway (SCR) and TSRTC officials are expecting the rush to peak towards the weekend as most employees board trains and buses after their office hours.

Every day about 2.5 lakh passengers travel to different destinations from Secunderabad and Kacheguda stations. In the last couple of days, the passenger rush has increased by about 80,000 to one lakh at the stations. 

To meet the rush, SCR is operating over 430 special trains as against 242 specials operated last year. Of the 430 special trains, 72 are Jansadharan, 319 special trains with Tatkal fare and 40 Suvidha specials with dynamic pricing.

These apart, additional coaches were being attached to a few trains in which there was a long waiting list of passengers, said a senior official from SCR.

SCR has set up additional ticket counters and automatic ticket vending machines and deployed adequate Railway Protection Force and Ticket Travelling Examiners to guide passengers. Additional coaches were also attached to regular trains to ensure most of the passengers get berths. There would be frequent announcements on operation of special trains so as to avoid passenger rush on regular trains.

Similarly, TSRTC stations have also been witnessing steady rush since the last couple of days and it is expected to increase further from Saturday. Nearly 4,800 buses were being operated this festive season and of these, 1,100 are special buses (additional fare).

Further to avoid traffic jams on the routes leading to MGBS, the TSRTC was operating special buses as well as scheduled buses from MGBS, Old CBS, JBS, Lingampalli, Miyapur Crossroads, KPHB, Ameerpet, Telephone Bhavan, L B Nagar, Aramghar, ECIL Crossroads, Jeedimetla, Tarnaka and Uppal Crossroads from Friday to Monday.

In the return journey, officials were expecting the passenger traffic to be staggered. Sankranti festivities will conclude by Thursday and with a weekend in the offing, there is a possibility of many extending their holiday to avoid traffic, pointed out a senior RTC official.

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