Hyderabad:) The Telangana Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) will operate 3,845 buses for ‘Medaram Jatara’, billed as the country’s biggest tribal fair, which is scheduled to be held from February 16 to 19.
The state-owned carrier will operate these buses from 51 points across Telangana and neighbouring Maharashtra and is expected to ferry 23 lakh passengers.
TSRTC Managing Director V.A C. Sajjanar told reporters on Friday that the TSRTC is expected to clock a revenue of Rs 32 crore from these operations. He, however, made it clear that it is not a revenue generation event for them. “We see this as our social responsibility,” he said and pointed out that bus fare will remain the same as last time.
Lakhs of people from across Telangana and others states are expected to participate in Samamakka-Sarakka Jatara, also called as Medaram Jatara, to be held in Medaram village in Mulugu district.
The fair takes place once in two years to commemorate a tribal revolt led by Sammakka and her daughter Saralamma against levy of taxes on tribals during drought conditions by the then Kakatiya rulers in the 12th century.
Sajjanar said RTC had been associated with the Jatara since 1968 when it first operated its buses.
The TSRTC MD also launched “Medaram with TSRTC”, a specially developed app by four students of Kakatiya Institute of Technology and Science (KITS), Warangal to help pilgrims to plan their journey better
The first-ever app launch in the history of RTC, it can be downloaded from TSRTC’s official website and will soon be available on Google PlayStore.
The app gives information about Medaram, its history, bus operating points, details of special buses and their booking, tourist places in and around Medaram, map to Medaram, emergency numbers, hotels nearby and others.
During the previous Medaram Jatara held in 2020, as many as 19.10 lakh passengers travelled by TSRTC buses. The TSRTC then operated 3,382 buses. A total of 50,230 trips were undertaken and 60.87 lakh kilometers travelled. The revenue generated was Rs 30 crore.
This time, the TSRTC will be using the services of 12, 500 staff and 300 officers. It has developed a temporary bus station in a 50-acre base camp.
Only RTC Buses are allowed to travel close to the main deity (Gadde). All the private vehicles will be allowed to park 6 to 7 km away. Hence, Sajjanar advised people to use public transportation and save on effort in reaching the deity. He also informed that services of 30 shuttle buses will be used to ferry passengers from the private vehicle parking area near Gadde. This service is provided free of cost.