A large group of school and college students blocked Ponneri–Pulicat High Road on Wednesday and waylaid three buses to protest irregular MTC service.
According to residents of the fishing hamlets in Pulicat, apart from a shortage of buses, there was no service at all between 6.30 a.m. and 9.30 a.m. every day.
On Wednesday, around 8.30 a.m., hundreds of students waylaid buses heading to Pulicat and raised slogans against the State government and the MTC for ignoring the pleas of residents of the fishing hamlet.
The MTC operates only three bus services from Pulicat to Red Hills, Pooneri and Vallar Nagar every day. “School and college students have to walk long distances to reach their educational institutions. Buses are our lone mode of transport to reach the city or the nearest main town, Pooneri, which is around 28 km away,” said S. Karunakaran, president, Pulicat panchayat.
Popular with local tourists, Pulicat is home to around 20,000 residents and has a lone government high school and a primary health care centre.
After completing class X, students usually to go to Pooneri — which has one government college for arts and science — for higher education.
Despite repeated pleas by residents to senior officials in the transport department and MTC, nothing has changed in this hamlet.
The bus services have gone from bad to worse, said residents. “Due to poor revenue generation, we had to recall a few services from Pulicat. We will take up the issue with higher officials and try to increase the number of services,” said K. Sudhakar, branch manager, Pooneri bus depot.