TIRUPATI: The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) is scheduled to operate five buses every two minutes on Tirumala-Tirupati Ghat Roads during the nine-day Salakatla Brahmotsavams of Lord Venkateswara.Addressing mediapersons, APSRTC Regional Manager T Chengal Reddy said to cope with the rush of pilgrims during the festival, the management has decided to run 156 buses in addition to its existing fleet of 411 buses, of which 120 buses have already joined.
In this regard, APSRTC has also purchased new buses at a cost of `42 crore. Of the total 567 buses, each bus would ply five times up and down the ghat road daily.” “The additional buses will ply between Tirumala-Tirupati Ghat Road and 25,640 trips have been planned to clear an estimated traffic of 12 lakh.
The management has deployed 610 additional staff, including 160 security personnel apart from 2,300 regular drivers, conductors and others to run the 567 buses,” Reddy said. Quoting past two year’s statistics, he said more than 11.52 lakh and 11.92 lakh pilgrims respectively were ferried between the ghat roads during Brahmotsavams.
Reddy also said, “For ensuring smooth flow of traffic and proper coordination between drivers and traffic managers, APSRTC has embraced services such as WhatsApp, live updates and the like. Bus drivers, conductors, and corporation officials have been added to these groups.”
The buses have been fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS) through which the central command station at the regional office receives live updates about the traffic movement to help bus drivers to know about the traffic on the ghat roads and lead them to pick-up and drop locations safely, he added.
These apart, the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has arranged special long distance buses to Tirupati and Tirumala from Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Ongole, Nellore, Kadapa, Kurnool and Anantapur, he said.
For bus services from Chennai, Vellore, Kanchipuram and other cities in AP, where the pilgrim rush is likely to be high, Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation has arranged buses on an hourly basis for onward and return journey, including advance reservation facility. “On Garuda Seva day, the pick-up and drop facility will be up to Alipiri and from there, 44 local shuttle services will take the pilgrims to the central bus station,” he added.