TAMIL NADU

In show of strength, mobility takes a beating

: Mobility of people was affected in the State capital and other parts on Friday as the support for jallikattu swelled and people headed to common protest venues across cities and rail roko agitations disrupted train schedules.

On the fourth day of the ‘Jallikattu Uprising’, the protest spread to various parts of Chennai, apart from Marina and the IT corridor on the Old Mahabalipuram Road. Traffic had to be diverted on the arterial Anna Salai, as enthusiastic protesters took to the streets to show their support.

The stir also led to cancellation and diversion of both in-bound and out-bound trains from Chennai Central and Egmore.

Hundreds of passengers were eagerly viewing bulletin boards at Chennai Central on Friday, as there were frequent announcements on train cancellation and diversion.

Chennai Central’s suburban section and MRTS services were also packed with commuters as State transport buses, share autos and cabs were few and far between.

The MRTS services were also delayed, causing hardships to commuters. In some instances, when a train rolled into a station, no one could get on, as there was barely any space to even get a foothold on the train. Women and children found it difficult to get out at specific stations.

Many youngsters used the MRTS services to reach Marina to join the protest. At the Triplicane MRTS station, which was the closest point to Marina, both the entry and exit points were jam-packed.

Blockades in south TN

In Southern Tamil Nadu too, the story was similar. The State Transport Corporation operated less than 50 per cent of its fleet in city routes. Mofussil buses were badly hit as protesters indulged in road blockades in every district.

The mofussil operations between Madurai and Tiruchi were relatively smooth, while there were road blockades on Madurai-Tirunelveli and Madurai-Ramanathapuram stretches. As a result, the buses were stranded inbetween for long hours.

As mini-buses, auto rickshaws and share autos too were off the road from 6 a.m., people who had reached the integrated bus stand at Mattuthavani in Madurai city from different cities found it extremely difficult to reach their homes. A few call-taxi drivers demanded exorbitant fares from passengers.

Protesters also blocked traffic towards the Madurai airport, causing hardship to passengers.

(With inputs from Zubeda Hamid, T. K. Rohit, R. Rajaram and L. Srikrishna)

There were cancellations and diversion of in-bound and out-bound trains from Chennai Central