Heavy flow to native places for Sankranti after two years of lull

VIJAYAWADA: After a gap of two years plagued by the Covid crisis, lakhs of people are streaming from big cities to their native places in Andhra Pradesh to celebrate the three-day Sankranti festival.

National highways are jammed with traffic and railway stations and bus terminals are crowded day and night, as families have started heading for their ancestral homes, towns or villages.

A festive atmosphere prevails in villages, towns and cities across the state. Over 25 lakh people are returning to their native places in AP from adjacent Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc to celebrate Sankranti in full throttle for three days, transport sector analysts said.

The vehicular traffic on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada National Highway has increased tremendously since Thursday evening. After the governments of the two Telugu states declared holidays, the people living in Hyderabad have started heading to their native villages in Andhra Pradesh. The Hyderabad-Vijayawada and Hyderabad-Kurnool national highways have been experiencing heavy traffic since Thursday night.

The rush of vehicles towards Vijayawada largely increased on Friday at Chillakallu toll plaza of NTR district and Keesara toll plaza of Kanchikacherla mandal. Earlier, nearly 20,000 to 25,000 vehicles used to pass the toll gate a day. Another 10,000 to 15,000 vehicles in the arrival mode passed by on Friday.

Road congestion was also witnessed at the Pantangi toll plaza of Yadadri district in Telangana. Vehicles were stuck for a long time at the toll plazas as the flow became intense since Friday morning. At one stage, the traffic was stopped in queues for more than a km, even as the Fast Tag system was in force.

During 2021 and 2022, most people wary of the Covid infection avoided visiting their native places.

Natives of AP working in Hyderabad, R. Vinod and Leela Krishna, said the pandemic situation is now a thing of the past and all controls have been lifted. This would help them to celebrate Sankranti with pomp and gaiety. “Sankranti is a harvest festival that reunites not only family members but the whole neighbourhood,” they noted.

By evening on Friday, the traffic on the Hyderabad-Kurnool national highway had increased. Vehicles were waiting in long queues at the Tummalacheruvu toll plaza on the Nalgonda-Miryalaguda-Guntur NH. Traffic was also increasing at the Badava toll plaza on the NH from Bhadrachalam to Vijayawada.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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