Passengers struggle for local transport

A large number of passengers, who arrived by long-distance trains, had a tough time in reaching their destination with the buses of the Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Chennai (MTC) staying off the road in view of the lockdown on Sunday. Those without personal transport had to bargain hard with the fleecing autorickshaw drivers at Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations.

Although minimum number of suburban and Metro trains were operated, the absence of MTC buses left a large number of passengers stranded.

The taxi aggregators — Uber and Ola — plied on their misery.

M. Suryaprakash, who reached the city from Salem, said most autorickshaw drivers at the Central station demanded double the normal fare to go to Virugambakkam. Even if some commuters agreed to pay, the autorickshaw drivers refused the ride. Many daily wage workers walked in groups to their destinations in the absence of MTC buses.

The police officials had been asked not to stop autorickshaw and taxi drivers if the passengers showed their travel ticket which came as some relief.

Most of the passengers were uspet that the MTC did not operate buses at least from Central and Egmore railway stations.

A senior official of the MTC said the buses were not run as there were no direction from the State government in this regard. He said 120 buses were operated for the frontline staff of the Greater Chennai Corporation and other government agencies.

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