BENGALURU: Chennai is not the only one taking a pounding from the rain gods. Transport utilities have taken a hit with ridership from Bengaluru falling drastically. And cancelled and delayed flights/trains means many from Chennai are stranded here in the city.
Shivanna, who works as a conductor with the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), told Express that the number of passengers travelling to Chennai has reduced. “All the IT companies there are shut and so, IT folks from Bengaluru are not travelling,” he said.
According to the official spokesperson of KSRTC, 42 to 43 schedules are usually operated from Bengaluru to Chennai every day, but due to fall in ridership, 16 schedules were cancelled on Tuesday. The corporation is clubbing schedules together to make up its losses. In November, KSRTC suffered losses running up to Rs 30-35 lakh because of rains.
However, KSRTC is seeing good business in the other direction. Those stranded in Chennai due to train and flight cancellations are opting for buses. KSRTC is deploying 55 additional buses in Chennai, said Rajender Kumar Kataria, MD of KSRTC.
Meanwhile, the Railways too has had to cancel many trains to Chennai as the tracks are underwater. Bengaluru-bound trains from Chennai have been held up.
P Phalguni, a passenger travelling to Chennai from City Railway Station, said, “My mother and sister are stranded in the rain there. They gave me a call yesterday and asked me to come to Chennai so that I can bring them here. However, travelling to Chennai has become a nightmare as every other minute, trains are being cancelled or rescheduled.”
Sanjiv Agarwal, Divisional Railway Manager (Bengaluru), said seven daily trains and 11 trains between the City Railway Station and Chennai Central were cancelled. To keep passengers in the loop, South Western Railway has been posting details on their Twitter accounts @SWRRLY and @SWRBengaluru.
For those waiting for loved ones to arrive from Chennai at City Railway Station, it is an agonising time. Pushyami T, who had come to the station to receive her sister, said, “The double-decker AC train from Chennai Central arrived five hours late. My nephew, who is just five months old, was starving by then. The situation is getting worse by the day.”
Karnataka Pledges Rs 5cr for TN
Karnataka has announced Rs 5 crore in humanitarian aid for flood-hit Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who announced the aid here on Wednesday, said Karnataka would send relief material, including medicines, for the marooned people of the neighbouring state. He also instructed Chief Secretary Kaushik Mukherjee to coordinate with the Tamil Nadu government and provide necessary assistance.