Ahead of Deepavali, govt. to operate 6,859 additional buses that will crisscross TN next week

With Deepavali around the corner, the State government is gearing up for a massive increase in passenger traffic, as thousands will travel over the holidays.

To cater to this rush, the government will operate a total of 6,859 additional buses to different parts of the State from November 9 to 12.

From Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus (CMBT) alone, 2,728 buses will run. Similarly, from other important towns and locations in the State, over 4,000 buses will be operated.

In a press release, State transport minister V. Senthilbalaji said that for those travelling beyond 300 km, online ticket reservation could be availed at www.tnstc.in. A total of 16 counters have also been arranged at CMBT.

The minister also warned private bus operators, asking them to refrain from overcharging. Complaints about such operators can be registered at 044-24794709.

The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) too, will operate around 200 buses from Monday till after Deepavali from T. Nagar and Koyambedu. Thousands of residents from in and around the city are already thronging the shopping localities of T. Nagar and Purasawalkam. “With pedestrians taking up most of the road space, vehicles can only wade through the sea of shoppers,” said a resident of Purasawalkam.

An MTC source said spare buses would be utilised and additional trips operated.

“With 10 being the second Saturday of the month, if those working are able to take two days of leave from work, they get five days in all – a long holiday. Conductors and drivers do not mind working on Deepavali day as they get double pay for working on that day,” he said.

K. Avudainayagam, who works in a logistics company in Nungambakkam and has booked his ticket in a private bus to Nagercoil where his wife works, said that he was unable to book train tickets.

“I prefer private buses over government services as they run on time. A government bus takes over 15 hours to get to Nagercoil. But taking the same route, a private bus manages to reach in 12 hours,” he said.

T. Ravikumar, president, All India Rail and Bus Passengers’ Welfare Association, who welcomed the move to bring in additional buses, said that a proper timetable must be drawn up for these buses.

“Also, due to the recent rains, many roads are in bad shape. The government must ensure roads are relaid on a war footing. The condition of the buses also needs to be improved,” he said.

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