CHENNAI: The inter-city express trains from Chennai to Madurai, Karaikudi, Coimbatore Bengaluru and other parts witnessed huge crowds on Friday due to certain reports which said bus services would be stopped from Friday evening.
The public transport system witnessed disruption owing to incessant rains since morning. The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) suspended bus services partially in select routes. Several mofussil services from Koyambedu CMBT and Madhavaram terminus too were cancelled.
In the afternoon, Transport Minister S S Sivasankar said, “Buses plying via ECR will be cancelled two hours before and after landfall of cyclone Mandous. However, all other services will be operated as per schedule.” The depot managers and regional managers of transport undertakings are directed to decide on operating the buses in consultation with the district administration and police, added Sivasankar. The omnibuses were operated as usual, said bus operators.
S Vijay Krishna of Salem said, “As a section of TV media reported buses will be cancelled after 6 pm I boarded the Coimbatore Intercity Express. Every bit of the unreserved compartment was occupied.”
The transport department should have informed us well in advance if there was any change in the schedule, he added. Chennai Division of Southern Railway has constituted a disaster control cell and deployed top officials from commercial and operations to monitor the evolving situation closely.
The weather bulletins issued from IMD are monitored and weather warnings are disseminated promptly to stations to alert station masters, trackmen, engineering, and electrical & signal/telecom maintenance staff. Help desks have been set up at Central, Egmore and Tambaram. Passengers can call 044-25330714/044-25330952 for any assistance. “The schedule of suburban services in Chennai Beach - Chengalpattu, Chennai - Arakakonam and Chennai - Gummidipundi sections altered depending on the alerts from IMD,” said a railway official.