South Central Railway (SCR) carried at least 20,000 persons daily during the Dasara festival from October 1 to 10 in addition to the 10 lakh passengers it usually carries to various destinations across the country.
Senior officials informed on Friday that 162 special trains were run and 352 extra coaches attached during the peak rush period.
The interesting aspect this time was that passengers were dispersed towards Lingampalli and Kacheguda stations, reducing the load on Secunderabad station.
Secunderabad station handles about 1.8 lakh passengers a day and that reaches up to 2.2 lakh. Every year, we see a 10% increase in footfall, but manage to control it by ensuring many special trains begin from Kacheguda while the regular trains towards Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam etc. start from Lingampally, explained senior officials.
The ongoing strike by Telangana Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) also kept the pressure on the railways as most buses stayed off the roads. SCR general manager Gajanan Mallya appreciated the efforts and team work of his staff in smooth handling of festival rush.
Word of caution
He also cautioned them about handling the return journey rush expected over the next five days.
During the festival season, there were 98 reserved trains and 64 Jansadharan special trains with the latter exclusively catering to passengers travelling short distances, covering most of the Telangana region Kacheguda-Nizamabad, Kacheguda-Kurnool City, Kazipet-Bhadrachalam, Nanded-Aurangabad, Hyderabad-Sirpur Kagaznagar etc.
Lingampalli and Kacheguda stations saw almost double footfall to their daily quota of 25,000 and 35,000 passengers respectively, claimed senior officials.
To handle the additional traffic at all the four major terminals in twin cities Secunderabad, Hyderabad, Kacheguda and Lingampalli stations more supervisory staff and booking counters were opened in addition to Automatic Ticket Vending Machines (ATVMs), Currency operated Ticket Vending Machines (CoTVMs) and UTS on mobile app for purchasing unreserved tickets.
Apart from beefing up security, ticket checking staff were deployed in huge numbers to monitor crowd control and to eradicate ticketless travelling, they explained.