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Strike impacts normal life in State

JAM-PACKED: MRTS stations in Chennai saw more commuters on Thursday, as MTC buses did not ply because of the strike

JAM-PACKED: MRTS stations in Chennai saw more commuters on Thursday, as MTC buses did not ply because of the strike   | Photo Credit: — Photo: S.R. Raghunathan

Tamil Nadu Bureau

CHENNAI: Many shops and business establishments remained closed in Chennai and across the State, and buses remained off the roads because of the general strike called by the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam to protest the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Private vehicles plied as usual. No strike-related violence was reported from anywhere in the State.

Though the State government had promised that public transport would be operated as usual, most of the workers stayed away. Government offices across the State wore a deserted look, though hospitals, emergency services and essential services operated as usual.

While most of the Opposition parties carried on with their campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, the DMK, the Congress and the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi refrained from campaigning.

In view of the strike, the High Court premises, which also accommodated the subordinate courts, were less congested due to a reduction in the number of litigants and visitors.

It was a tough time for the public as hotels near the High Court remained closed. Also taking photocopies of documents proved to be difficult as shops were closed.

Airline operations at the Chennai airport were not affected. Airports Authority of India officials said during the day flights in both the domestic and international sectors were operated as per schedule.

Only in the evening about half a dozen flights in the domestic sector were rescheduled for the convenience of passengers, said the officials.

In Chennai, while the suburban train and MRTS services operated as usual, the absence of MTC buses on the roads made commuting very difficult for people. “I have been waiting here for over an hour and not a single bus passed by,” said K. Gomathi, who was waiting at the bus stop near the Central Station. “I took a train from Villivakkam to get here, but I don’t know how to reach my office,” said the employee of a private firm on Mount Road.

Several commuters said that autorickshaw drivers demanded exorbitant rates for short distances too.

Many restaurants, tea stalls, petty shops and grocery stores remained closed. Cinemas were also shut on account of the general strike. Banks and several other offices in the city functioned with skeletal staff.

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