With thousands of families heading to their native places for Sankranti, Hyderabad-Vijayawada highway saw traffic jams on Friday.
Cars, buses and other transport vehicles queued up at toll plazas even as authorities have taken special measures to ease the congestion.
Huge rush was seen at Pattangi toll plaza near Hyderabad with people heading homes in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
In view of the rush, authorities opened additional 10 gates. Officials said the Fast Tag facility was ensuring smooth movement of vehicles through the toll plaza.
The toll plaza witnesses movement of about 38,000 vehicles every day and in view of Sankranti rush this number is likely to go up to 70,000.
Railway and bus stations in Hyderabad were also packed with passengers heading to their destinations in both the Telugu states.
With the Sankranti holidays for all educational institutions beginning on Friday, families were seen packing their bags to join their near and dear ones in their native places for the harvest festival to be celebrated on January 15.
Special trains and buses are being operated from Hyderabad to various places in both the states to clear the rush. The number of travellers is likely to see a big jump over the next two days.
The Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) has announced that it will operate 4,484 special buses for those traveling to their hometowns. These buses will operate from January 6 to 15, covering destinations within the state and neighboring states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
Regular fares without any hike will be applied to these special buses, promoting affordable and secure travel during the festive season.
Mahalakshmi, the free travel facility for women in TSRTC buses in Telangana, may add to the rush this year. The TSRTC has announced that free travel for women will be applicable in the special buses up to state borders. Authorities have asked women to carry their original identity cards to avail the facility.
TSRTC Managing Director V. C. Sajjanar said that all necessary arrangements have been made to ensure passenger safety and comfort, with special camps set up in congested areas and additional facilities provided as needed.
Sajjanar urged citizens to opt for safe travel in TSRTC buses and avoid private buses with higher fares.
TSRTC have made special arrangements at MGBS and JBS stations in view of the festive rush. The officials have also provided facilities like shamiana, chairs, mobile toilets at other boarding points like LB Nagar, Uppal, Aram Ghar, KPHB, Bowenpally, Gachibowli. CCTV cameras have been installed to monitor the passenger crowd and provide the buses accordingly.
Every year, an estimated two million people from Hyderabad and its surroundings visit their hometowns for Sankranti. Majority of them head towards coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
On no other festival people in such large numbers go home. It leaves the usually busy roads and intersections in Hyderabad rather deserted.
Sankranti offers an opportunity to people to re-visit their roots. A large number of techies, students, government and private employees and also businessmen from coastal Andhra never miss the opportunity to visit their native places.
Their children enjoy the holiday with a feel of the countryside. They celebrate the holiday by visiting the fields, flying kites, watching decorated bulls, cockfights, bullockcart races, and other rural sports that are organised on the occasion