The seven days of jallikattu protests

Public transport in Chennai grinds to a halt

A bride who was caught in traffic jam on Monday.   | Photo Credit: R. Ravindran

People in various parts of the city were stranded on roads and railway stations after the suspension of Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) services and Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses on Monday.

On a day when the jallikattu protest reached the climax at Marina Beach, the public faced severe hardship after sporadic violence broke out near the protest venue. People comprising outstation travellers, office-goers and students in several parts of the city faced hardship after the Southern Railway cancelled MRTS train services and the MTC buses stopped their operations citing security reasons.

MRTS trains were stopped from Velachery and Chennai Beach after 9.30 a.m. The MTC even stopped the small buses which usually are a link between important bus termini and railway stations.

The only saving grace for the travelling public was the operation of suburban train services, but people found it difficult to even reach those suburban railway stations because of traffic blockade by protesters and heavy traffic.

Travellers bound for destinations outside the state found it difficult to reach the Chennai Mofussil Bus Terminus in Koyambedu. An unusually large number of people carrying strolleys preferred to take the suburban trains to Park Station, before alighting and walking up to the Central Station to catch a train out. Some trains to the south of the state were also suspended, but railway officials said they were hoping to resume normal operations on Tuesday.

R. Anandan, a resident of Perungudi, said it took more than two hours for him to reach his office in Mylapore because of blockade of the Rajiv Gandhi Salai.

Several arterial roads, including Poonamallee High Road, Velachery Main Road, Gandhi Mandapam Road in Kottupuram, Rajiv Gandhi Salai, Arcot Road and Jawaharlal Nehru Salai, were jammed with vehicular traffic after protesters blocked these roads. As a result, people had to walk long distances to reach their place of work or go back home. Others left their vehicles in office and preferred to walk home in the evening, as getting out with the cars was well nigh impossible in the evening.

A senior official of the MTC and Southern Railway said both the bus and MRTS train services would be resumed on Tuesday but only after getting security clearance from the Chennai City Police.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 8:45:31 AM |

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