THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Bus operators experienced heavy rush, with Keralites trying to reach their loved ones in flood affected Chennai and also the ones trying to come back, when the operations restarted after the city got a much needed respite from rain on Thursday. Air, rail and road transportations have been affected and this left thousands of people from the state marooned in their deluged houses. “It has not been raining for past 8 hours, hence we decided to start services to Chennai in the evening. We have told passengers that we will refund the entire ticket amount in case we cancel the trip,” said a private bus operator in the Chennai-Thiruvananthapuram route.
Some of the private bus operators had stopped their service on Tuesday and Wednesday due to heavy rains.
Binu, a software engineer from Kollam said that he managed to get a bus ticket to Chennai on Friday and was relieved to meet his family there at Thambaram. Since there were some uncertainties regarding the service, I faced problems while booking tickets online, he said. He had come for a visit to his native place when incessant rains flooded his house in Chennai leaving his wife and child stranded.
The situation became even more difficult after the railways cancelled nine trains between the two states on Thursday and Friday due to water inundation on the tracks. Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), which operates 12 bus between Chennai and Thiruvananthapuram, has stopped ticket bookings for services in the route. An official with TNSTC said that bookings for bus from Chennai has been stopped since they are not sure if buses can be operated or not given the flood condition at Chennai. Only four bus came from Chennai to Thampanoor on Wednesday. He said that the entire fleet of 12 buses will be operational hopefully by Friday. Home Ministry has opened a helpline for the flood affected in Chennai. However, the officials said that arranging transportation only for Keralites will be impractical. Kerala State Road Transport Corporation does not operate any service to Chennai.