HYDERABAD: Pandemic has dampened the mood of Sankranti this year. However, people from the city are finding novel ways to beat the virus and travel to their hometowns. The entry point of Outer Ring Road near Gachibowli saw a flurry of private cabs being hailed by families to head out to various locations such Vijayawada, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, and Guntur.
However, the rush is restricted to these private vehicles only instead of public transport. Plying of private cabs as taxis is illegal and State's Taxi union has protested against it.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, K Sushila, a resident of Ghatkesar and a native of Tanuku said, "We are travelling with my elderly in-laws back home for the first Sankranti celebration after my wedding. We could not take the risk of travelling in a bus or a train because of the virus threat. So we have decided to hire a private cab and drive all the way to Tanuku. That way the exposure will be restricted."
South Central Railway, however, said that compared to other years, the demand for tickets was very low. "The demand is down by almost 50 per cent. We used to schedule 200 to 250 trains every day. This year, only 100 trains have been scheduled on a daily basis."