On Saturday, railroad and bus stations in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad saw a huge rush of people heading home to the Telugu states for the Sankranthi festival. Kacheguda, Secunderabad, and Nampally stations witnessed a big festive rush. Many families were seen on platforms waiting to board the next available trains to their destinations in Andhra and Telangana.
The biggest railway station, Secunderabad Railway Station, saw a festive rush from early morning.
With SCR (South Central Railway) operating special trains to clear the Sankranthi rush, hundreds of women, men, and children were seen flocking to the railway station.
The officials at SCR and Police Personnel were taking steps to ensure strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines by the passengers, like wearing masks, hand sanitization, and maintaining social distance.
In the coming days, the passenger rush is likely to increase. As a result, the officials of different wings coordinated to prepare plans to control the crowds and ensure that all passengers followed Covid guidelines.
Meanwhile, bus stations in Hyderabad and Secunderabad also saw a big rush of passengers to board buses to their home towns. Both MGBS in Hyderabad and Jubilee Bus Station in Secunderabad were crowded with passengers leaving for their destinations in Telugu states.
Both TSRTC and APSRTC are operating special services to handle the festive rush.
Given the COVID situation, the officials at RTC have also taken steps to clear the crowd. One of the TSRTC officials said they were taking all precautions and advising passengers to wear a mask or abide by other Covid guidelines.
Both the states have been witnessing a huge surge in Covid cases since last week. Telangana saw over 2,500 cases on Friday. AP on Friday reported 840 new Covid cases, the highest single-day spurt since September
.Lakhs of people living in Hyderabad and its surroundings go to their homes towns every year for Sankranthi; the harvest festival celebrated with enthusiasm in both the Telugu states.
Every year, an estimated 20 lakh from the twin cities and their surroundings visit their hometowns for Sankranthi. Most of them head towards Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions in Andhra.
On no other festival do people in such massive numbers go to their home towns. It leaves the usually busy intersections, and roads in Hyderabad and Secunderabad rather deserted.