Thursday, July 18, 2024

Traffic crawls at toll plazas on AP borders

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C Pradeep Kumar
Vijayawada

With the three-day Sankranti festival set to kick off on Saturday, the people of AP, particularly those living in Hyderabad, are making hurried plans to join their families. Consequently, the vehicular traffic on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada National Highway increased substantially ahead of the big festival. After the respective governments declared holidays for the Telugu States, the people living in Hyderabad are visiting their native villages in Andhra Pradesh.

The Hyderabad-Vijayawada and Hyderabad-Kurnool national highways have become busy with vehicles with people returning to their hometowns since Thursday night. The congestion of vehicles going to Vijayawada is gradually increasing at Chillakallu Toll Plaza of NTR district and Keesara Toll Plaza of Kanchikacherla Mandal. Meanwhile, vehicle congestion is also witnessed at the Pantangi toll plaza of Yadadri district in Telangana. The vehicles were stuck for a long time at the toll plazas as thousands of vehicles came at the same time right from Friday morning. At one stage, the vehicles were stranded over a stretch of one kilometre even though the Fast Tag system is in force.

After a gap of two years, people are set to celebrate the Sankranti festival without any curbs. During 2021 and 2022, most of the people preferred to stay back without visiting their native places due to the Covid pandemic and various restrictions imposed by the government. After the Central government started administering vaccine doses, the infection rate receded gradually and the curbs were lifted. After two long years, people will be celebrating Sankranti on a grand note without restrictions. People of AP who are settled in the neighboring States are returning to their native places to celebrate the festival with their loved ones.

Meanwhile, the traffic on the Hyderabad-Kurnool national highway has also increased. Vehicles are waiting in long queues at the Tummalacheruvu toll plaza on the Nalgonda – Miryalaguda – Guntur National Highway. Traffic is increasing at the Badava toll plaza on the national highway from Bhadrachalam to Vijayawada.

As there is a fast-track system to pay the vehicle toll fee, the vehicles going towards Andhra are moving without any delay.

If the fast track does not work due to technical reasons, the toll plaza staff are collecting money and gives the receipt immediately without any delay. The toll plaza staff is expecting more vehicles by Friday night.

The toll plaza managers say that all precautionary measures have been taken to prevent vehicles from stopping at the plaza for a long time. Six counters have been set up on the national highway for vehicles going towards Vijayawada at Chillakallu and Keesara toll plazas.

The toll plaza officials said that they had taken proper precautions so that there was no delay for the passengers at the toll plaza. The toll plaza staff have also arranged for drinking water and other basic facilities for the passengers. As Sankranti is the first festival in the year celebrated by the farming community in their native villages, all the people prefer to reach their native in AP. Due to this, all the vehicles are queuing up to Andhra to their hometowns resulting in vehicle congestion at the toll plazas.

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