Chennai floods: Buses, suburban train services hit

S Thangam of Mettur, a daily wager who returned to Chennai, said, “Many in my hometown fear Chennai may see a situation similar to 2015 and hotels may be shut.

Published: 09th November 2021 05:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th November 2021 05:11 AM   |  A+A-

Most people were forced to lock and leave their homes due to heavy waterlogging at Sri Ram Nagar in Avadi on Monday | Shiba Prasad Sahu

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: With incessant rains affecting normal life across the State on Monday, buses and trains ran with only a handful of passengers. Occupancy levels of TNSTC and SETC buses operated from and to Chennai stood at less than 40 per cent.

As per official records, over 6.5 lakh commuters left Chennai ahead of the Deepavali festival. However, in the wake of Chief Minister MK Stalin’s request and forecast of rains, many seemingly have postponed travel plans, said sources. Monday and Tuesday have been declared as public holidays for Chennai, Chengalpattu, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur districts.

S Thangam of Mettur, a daily wager who returned to Chennai, said, “Many in my hometown fear Chennai may see a situation similar to 2015 and hotels may be shut. We depend on hotels for our food.” Given the high fuel prices, transport corporations can meet operational cost only if buses operate at 70 per cent occupancy. “Since afternoon, branch managers have cut trips to reduce losses,” said a department employee.

A TNSTC ultra deluxe bus driver at CMBT said, “Per trip collection between Chennai and Puducherry stands at Rs 7,000 on regular days and goes up to Rs 8,000 on Mondays and during festivals. However, on Monday, it fell to Rs 3,500. For a single trip, we spend Rs 5,000 for diesel alone.”  The ticket collection pattern was no different in mofussil services to Vellore, Kancheepuram, Arcot, Gingee, Villupuram, Puducherry and Tiruvannamalai. 

Similarly, Central, Egmore and Tambaram stations saw less than 40 per cent footfall. As most suburban trains ran empty, the railways cut over 60 per cent of services between 4 pm and 12 pm. The number of services were restricted to 130 in four suburban routes from 4 pm to 12 pm. “No Express trains are being cancelled from Central, Egmore and Tambaram. However, many seem to have cancelled tickets at the last minute,” said a railway official. Meanwhile, OLA and Uber cabs increased the fare by Rs 50-100 per trip.



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