Diwali blues: Back-to-work rush clogs city's entry points
By Daniel Thimmayya | Express News Service | Published: 04th November 2013 07:20 PM |
If you thought that the hordes of people leaving by the bus-load on Deepavali eve was insane, Monday morning would have made you quiver.
With people who went home for the weekend rushing to get back home, work, college, et al, the city's bus transit points remained clogged for the most part of the 'early' morning - from 4.30 - 8.30 am. Perungalathur and Koyambedu were the worst hit, as the maximum number of people tend to disembark at these two points.
The suburban and traffic police did their best but could do little to limit the piling up of buses along the Tindivanam-Maduravoyal highway. "We had made elaborate arrangements in anticipation of the crowd. However, the volume of people returning on the first day of the week after Deepavali was extremely high," said a senior police official who was privy to all the chaos. This was primarily because people who had left to native towns in the South, would have departed in a phased manner but returned all at once.
Though most buses made it to Potheri and Perungalathur by 5 am, the pile-up of buses that led to CMBT and spilled out all the way to Maduravoyal, was replicated again. "The buses generally offload people who want to enter South Chennai and Tambaram at Perungalathur. Imagine over 500 buses stopping this way and you'll know what happened constantly for over 3 hours," said Sainath, who lives in Mudichur. Not only was traffic along the highway badly affected, people couldn't make it back home and time - which meant that kids returning to school were late and most office-goers had to apply permission.
Once the buses were past Tambaram, they had to spend over an hour to enter the ever-crowded CMBT as well. Senthil, a resident of Nungambakkam and native of Pudukottai, told Express, that he had to spend a couple of hours in the omnibus which was inching towards Chennai until it crossed Perungalathur. "We neared Perungalathur around 5.30 am, but we could cross Perungalathur only around 7.30 pm. I had to catch a train to Nungambakkam from Tambaram junction so as to avoid traffic further travelling into the city," he noted. Plenty of others took a cue and chose to finish the last leg of their journey by auto, EMU train or even by MTC buses.
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