A day ahead of Deepavali, there was a massive pile-up of vehicles in Tambaram.

Government and private buses, taking people from Chennai to their hometowns in southern, central and coastal districts for the festival, clogged the roads, making it hard for motorists and pedestrians to navigate their way.

At Irumbuliyur bridge, at the intersection of GST Road and Chennai Bypass on which private and government buses travel during the day time, there was complete chaos from 4 p.m. onwards. It took motorists one hour to get past the stretch of a few hundred metres.

Traffic police personnel had placed barricades, creating separate paths for government and private buses.

Staff at Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (Villupuram) said they operated around 50 special buses to Tiruchi alone from Tambaram to cater to the extra rush.

Private buses made the most of the huge demand for seats, charging Rs. 500 per seat in an air-conditioned bus, compared to the Rs. 230 in a government AC buses.

Late on Thursday night, dozens of people were waiting on GST Road in Tambaram near the limited use subway for private buses to different destinations. While some had booked tickets well in advance, others were taking a chance, hoping to get a seat.

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