The homecoming of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) supremo K Chandrashekhar Rao, on Wednesday, literally brought the city to a stand still. The leader, who reached RGIA in Shamshabad at around 4pm, arrived at Begumpet airport forty-five minutes later. However, the traffic restrictions across the city were imposed from 2pm leaving many commuters stranded on the streets in the hot afternoon.
Moving at a snail’s pace, gathering greetings and blessings from thousands of supporters at Begumpet, Greenlands, Somajiguda, Punjagutta, Khairatabad, Lakdi-ka-pul and the Assembly, the triumphant leader reached Telangana Martyr’s Memorail at Gun Park in Nampally only at around 9.15pm.
While KCR travelled atop the ‘ratham’, his aides including nephew and MLA, T Harish Rao, rode camels. Scores of horses, camels and Royal Enfield Bullets were part of the procession.
Every inch on the roads was occupied by supporters who danced to Telangana folk songs, whereas roadside hoardings, building rooftops carried hoardings and slogans praising KCR. Folk singers and dancers from different parts of Telangana performed at the memorial as well as during the procession route entertaining the crowds.
Sudhakar Reddy, a private firm employee, who was on his way to HPS in Begumpet to pick up his daughter, was stranded in the traffic jam without a clue of reaching his destination on time. “As it is, the traffic is hit by the metro rail constructions and it is a pain travelling on this stretch. To make things worse, such rallies are held. Even the diversions have not helped much,” he said. Another motorist, K Sridhar, said, “With hordes of people trying to reach airport by vehicles or walking, it became even impossible to wade through the traffic.”
Though Hyderabad Traffic Police had imposed traffic restrictions between 2pm and 7pm, KCR’s “Telangana Ratham” took off only at around 4.40 pm, aptly coinciding with the peak traffic hours when office goers head back after work. “I was told that roads would be cleared by 7pm which is why I had decided to stay back for sometime at office. However, the traffic was chaotic even at 8 pm and I got stuck here” said Vivek, an employee whose office is at Punjagutta.