Jan Shatabdi passengers squat on the road demanding free onward journey

Passengers of the Coimbatore-Mayiladuthurai Jan Shatabdi Express who were stranded in Karur and at Mutharasanallur on Thursday had yet another problem on board the buses in Senthaneerapuram for about an hour.

They resorted to squatting on the Tiruchi-Chennai Highway protesting against the “refusal” of the bus crew to operate the service.

According to the crew members, the railways had not paid for the ride and the TNSTC authorities had advised them not to operate the buses till payment was made.

Shortly after the train reached Tiruchi Fort Railway station, the passengers, bound for Thanjavur, Kumbakonam, and Mayiladuthurai were asked to board eight buses belonging to the TNSTC.

Although the passengers were a bit relieved, it was shortlived. The crew stopped all the buses on the service road on the Tiruchi-Chennai Highway between the TVS Toll Gate and Palpannai. The drivers refused to resume their journey as the railway authorities had not paid for the ride.

Angry passengers squatted on the road for a few minutes.

A team of police officials, led by T.R. Srinivasan, Additional Deputy Commissioner, and A. Kamaraj, Assistant Commissioner, rushed to the spot and held talks with the passengers and the bus crew.

The passengers said that it was a throbbing wait for them, first on board the train and later on board the buses.

Bharathi and Parthasarathy, who were bound for Kumbakonam, said that they were taken for a ride by the bus crew.

Bhavani said the railways should have made arrangements for supplying free food packets, especially to passengers accompanying children.

Following the intervention of the police, all the buses left for their respective destinations.

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