HYDERABAD (Metro Rail News) : Hyderabad Metro Rail in travel 3.2 lakh commuters as consequence of the ongoing strike by the staff and workers of the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).
City buses stayed off the roads completely, except for stray suburban services run by privately engaged drivers, leaving regular commuters to find their own means of transport.
Quite a few opted for Metro Rail based on their respective locations, increasing the footfalls especially during peak hours. Lengthy queues were seen in front of the ticketing counters, and near the entry and exit points, and owing to paucity of staff, clearing of the rush was slow. Platforms too were seen crowded to the brink.
“I usually take air-conditioned bus from Dilsukhnagar up to Banjara Hills where I work, as the location does not fall on any of the Metro Rail corridors. Today, I had to board the train up to Lakdikapul and take an auto from there,” says M. Sravanthi, a software professional.
However, during off-peak hours, traffic steeply fell, and not many passengers were seen at the station. Though HMRL authorities announced trains would be run every five minutes during off-peak hours, there was no need for the same, and trains ran with even 10 minutes gap post-noon up to evening peak hours.
As per information from HMRL, at 11 a.m., footfall was one lakh across stations, against weekend usual of 50,000, and by 1 p.m., the stations recorded 1.45 lakh entries against the normal 1.02 lakh. By 4 p.m., there were1.92 lakh entries against the usual 1.36 lakh, which went up to 2.61 lakh by 6 p.m., and 3.2 lakh by 8 p.m., from the usual 2.5 lakh.
MD, HMRL, N.V.S.Reddy said the crowds were manageable and expected to stay the same for two days. Monday, however, will be a challenge if the strike continues, when additional teams and extra personnel will be mobilised.