Travel agents reported that many regular commuters opted to go by road rather than rail
In the wake of the blasts in the Bangalore – Guwahati tri-weekly express, many passengers seem to have decided to cancel trips to Bangalore and Andhra Pradesh over the weekend.
On Friday morning, many approached ticket counters in various stations and agents to cancel their tickets. Many passengers said that they felt safer travelling to their destinations by road rather than train, at least for a brief period.
One such passenger, S. Rukmani, a resident of Villivakkam, was planning to travel to Vijayawada on May 9 along with her husband. “We had booked tickets on the Rajdhani, and for the return journey the next day, we had booked tickets on Janshatabdi Express. We cancelled on Friday,” she said.
“My son has volunteered to drive us to Vijayawada, where we are to attend a betrothal ceremony. The railway staff at the ticket counter assured us there would be no danger, but we did not want to take a chance,” she added.
Passengers travelling to Bangalore and Andhra Pradesh were the most cautious. “This is because the Bangalore – Guwahati express came from Bangalore and rumours are that the blast was supposed to have occurred in Nellore. So, many are worried of more explosions,” said a source.
Ticket agents said that the waiting list numbers were much lesser as compared to most Fridays. “Usually, the waiting list is above 150 as many people, especially IT employees, travel to Bangalore and Hyderabad on weekends. But today, it was just 60,” said an agent adding that the ticket availability status to Kerala and southern districts of Tamil Nadu was the same as usual.
He said that some of his regular customers opted to travel by road. “Most of them travel to Bangalore and Hyderabad frequently. But this time they did not want to take any chance. Some even postponed their journey,” said the agent.
However railway officials maintained that it was yet another day at Chennai Central. The security was tightened and there was a huge queue for baggage checks.