Complaints of infrequent services and incidents of attack on a few Metropolitan Transport Corporation buses in the city marked the State-wide strike called by six transport unions on Thursday. Incidents of stone-throwing and smashing of windscreen by miscreants were reported in several places in south Chennai.
S. Ganesan, who was a witness to one such incident in Velachery, said two persons came on a two-wheeler and smashed the windscreen of the bus plying on route 5A from T. Nagar to Tambaram East, on Velachery Main Road during the morning rush hour. He said that shocked by the incident, the driver stopped the bus and asked the commuters to get down and take another bus.
In an incident of stone-throwing, an MTC bus on Rajiv Gandhi Salai near SRP Tools was damaged. Police security was intensified at many bus termini by the afternoon.
Commuters complained that though buses were operated on all routes, the frequency of the services was less resulting in more time spent waiting for the bus. R.Seetha, a resident of Anna Nagar, said “Usually, there is bus service to Parry's Corner almost every 10 minutes from my area. But, today I have been waiting for over 20 minutes and there is no information about when the next bus would arrive.”
Some of the commuters opted for share auto-rickshaws. C. Vikram, a resident of Choolaimedu, said “I got impatient waiting for a bus to go to Nungambakkam for over half an hour. I took a share-autorickshaw. I was charged Rs.3 more.”
R.V. Thenappan, a resident of Old Washermenpet, said that several bus stops on Tiruvottiyur High Road were crowded. A few people like N. Srinivasan, who usually takes an MTC bus from Thiruvanmiyur to his office in Guindy, went on his two-wheeler.
A senior official of the MTC said that 3,164 buses were operated on Thursday, which was 24 more compared to a normal day. Only buses belonging to Vadapalani, Anna Nagar and Iyyapanthangal depots did not ply during morning rush hour, he added.
Pointing out that the routes in T.Nagar, Kodambakkam, Tiruvottiyur and Velachery remained tense, the official said windshields of 40 buses were damaged in various stone throwing incidents causing a loss of Rs.1.20 lakh.
Keywords: transport unions bandh