Right from the crack of dawn on Saturday, many passengers, particularly those heading towards Nalgonda, Vijayawada and coastal districts were seen waiting on the roadsides at Dilsukhnagar, Kothapet, L.B.Nagar and other areas to board trucks and other vehicles.

Despite the railway and APSRTC authorities making tall claims of operating additional special services for the convenience of commuters this Sankranti, many have been forced to travel in trucks or their own vehicles to reach their hometowns.

Right from the crack of dawn on Saturday, many passengers, particularly those heading towards Nalgonda, Vijayawada and coastal districts were seen waiting on the roadsides at Dilsukhnagar, Kothapet, L.B.Nagar and other areas to board trucks and other vehicles.

Affordable

Though it is risky to travel in trucks, many were seen boarding these vehicles, citing affordable charges. Truck drivers were charging Rs.200 per head to Vijayawada from L.B.Nagar.

“There is no option. Private bus operators are charging Rs.600 per head from Hyderabad to Vijayawada in a non-AC bus. Travelling in an RTC bus is also expensive due to the high fare and with my salary, I cannot afford that,” said a private security guard. Though many people had commenced their journey to different destinations on Friday night, railway stations and bus stations in the twin cities teemed with passengers on Saturday with many making a last minute effort.

Special trains

The South Central Railway (SCR) claimed to have pressed in 35 special trains to meet the passenger rush but they clearly fell short of the demand.

For instance, SCR is operating four special trains from Secunderabad to Kakinada Port. Waiting list for a sleeper class ticket for Sunday from Secunderabad to Kakinada in this train extends to 178.

Similarly, there was heavy rush at MGBS and JBS stations, particularly post afternoon. Bookings for majority of the 4,100-odd RTC special buses too are over and authorities claimed to have operated about 2,000 specials on Friday and nearly 1,500 on Saturday.

There is no dearth of buses, in fact about 500 buses were kept as spare services to meet the additional demand, if any, a senior RTC official said.

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