Trains fully booked; TNSTC plans to run specials till Jan. 20

Milling crowds of travellers thronged the Central Bus Stand and Railway Station in the city since Saturday as the Pongal festival holidays began this weekend.

With all scheduled trains and buses fully booked, anxious travellers seeking to get home in time for Pongal thronged the bus stands. All the specials were also running to full capacity since Saturday night, a senior official of Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation, Tiruchi, told The Hindu.

The TNSTC division operated over 90 specials to Chennai, 60 to Tirupur, 70 to Coimbatore, 90 to Madurai and 65 to Dindigul between Saturday night and Sunday evening. These apart, specials were also operated to Palani, Thanjavur, Pudukottai and other neighbouring districts.

“The crowd has been much larger even than the one witnessed during Deepavali. And we are running specials continuously based on the demand. Our officers are continuously monitoring the requirement to run specials. Our entire fleet of 1,300 buses, except town buses, are on the roads,” said a senior officer of the Corporation here.

Appreciating the cooperation extended by employees of the Corporation, he said the operation has been extremely satisfactory owing to the willingness of the crew to operate specials. “We are also monitoring the drivers. Alternative drivers are called in to replace drivers who are tired,” he added.

The Corporation has set up a help desk at Central Bus Stand to assist passengers and a public address system is also in place to announce the availability of buses. The Corporation plans to run specials till January 20 to cater to the holiday rush.

The State Express Transport Corporation and Transport Corporations of other divisions are also running specials.