TSRTC trying hard to augment fleet to meet Medaram Jatara rush

TSRTC has requested government to arrange for 1,500 private buses in addition to its fleet to meet rush of devotees

Updated - February 04, 2024 09:06 pm IST

Published - February 04, 2024 09:05 pm IST - Hyderabad

With the Medaram Jatara fast approaching, the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) is trying hard to make arrangements for the large number of devotees expected to assemble for the biennial event. This, coupled with the free bus ride for women scheme has brought about a spike in occupancy.

The corporation has sought 1,500 private buses to deal with the current rush. The Jatara held in Mulugu district that brings in thousands of visitors is scheduled to begin on February 21, and this year, TSRTC expects 30 lakh passengers to use their buses.

An official TSRTC document states that the Telangana government “has been requested to arrange to pool 1,500 private buses through the Transport department to meet the additional traffic demand on account of the implementation of the Maha lakshmi scheme”.

Speaking to The Hindu, an official said, “About 20 lakh passengers used TSRTC buses in 2020, a year we are taking as a yardstick to gauge passenger movement. Because of the Maha Lakshmi scheme, we are expecting more passengers — 30 lakh — this year. But, the numbers could be more. This is why we have asked the government to arrange for 1,500 private buses in addition to the buses we are already arranging.”

Sources said that the Transport department is likely to chair a meeting with private bus owners, including those who operate school and college buses, and hire bus owners’ associations. A positive outcome is expected soon.

This year, TSRTC has planned to press into service 4,479 buses for the Jatara. Compared to 2020, this year will see 1,115 more buses being diverted for the festival.

Given this redeployment of buses, passengers are likely to deal with a longer waiting time. For instance, of the around 2,800 buses in the Greater Hyderabad Zone (GHZ), over 1,700 will be used for the jatara. This means, the frequency of buses is likely to take a beating.

TSRTC officials said that they hope passengers would also take trains to attend the Jatara.

Meanwhile, Transport officials and TSRTC staff pointed out that the Medaram Jatara underscored that the corporation badly needs an augmentation in its fleet strength, which now stands at about 9,200. Apart from the buses that will be added to the fleet, another 2,500 are needed, they said.

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