Passengers had to wait for hours together
CHENNAI: Several hundreds of passengers crowded in on the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus at Koyambedu on Sunday as they headed for their home towns on Deepavali eve.
Officials of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation said that there was heavy rush in buses bound for Kancheepuram, Tiruvannamalai, Madurai, Thanjavur and Salem throughout Saturday and on Sunday morning. Passenger rush was also found in inter-State buses.
Officials of the Andhra Pradesh State Transport Corporation said passenger rush in buses bound for Tirupati, Vijayawada, Vishakapatnam and Puttaparthi was so high on Saturday that they were unable to manage the crowd. On Sunday, the crowd was relatively less, though the buses were running full.
Many passengers were seen waiting for hours at the bus stand to get a seat. G. Manikandan, who was travelling with his family to Tiruvannamalai, said that the journey would take at least four to five hours and it was not possible to stand throughout the journey. He had been waiting at the bus stand for almost two hours but could not find a Tiruvannamalai bus with a seat for four.
Some passengers travelling in buses headed to Puducherry said that those travelling to Tindivanam and Marakkanam were being forced to pay the charges of a ticket to Puducherry. S. Noordeen said the ticket price to Tindivanam was only Rs.40 but the conductor of a bus insisted that he buy a ticket worth Rs.55. “I have face this problem whenever I travel during festival season,” he said.
Several passengers seen boarding buses at the CMBT were migrants, who come to the city to make a living. Domestic help D. Annaikili, who was waiting for a bus to Tiruvannamalai, said that she had a tough time getting her Deepavali “bonus” from her employers in Teynampet, because of which she was leaving on Sunday. On her Deepavali plans back in her home town, she said, “After doing the Deepavali cleaning at my employer’s house, I don’t know if I will be able to clean my own house in my village.”