With the Tamil Nadu government announcing complete lockdown on Sunday (January 16), the Transport Department on Tuesday said special buses services planned from January 16 to 18 to ensure the return of passengers who travelled to their hometowns for the Pongal holidays would be operated from January 17 to 19.
In a statement, Transport Department principal secretary K Gopal said those who had booked tickets for January 16 would get a full refund in a few days. “Passengers should avoid travelling on January 16 and travel on other days by booking tickets,” he said.
To facilitate the smooth return of passengers to Chennai, he said long-distance buses that arrive at the city will stop at the suburban stations, including Tambaram, Chrompet and Pallavaram. Till now, the long-distance buses were operated via Chennai Bypass to reach CMBT to avoid traffic snarls in the city.
Apart from the operation of the routine 2,100 buses, the transport corporations would operate 10,409 special buses from January 17 to 19. As many as 3,797 buses would be operated to Chennai from various destinations between January 17 and 19, and 6,612 buses across other destinations.
The transport corporations operated special buses for Pongal on Tuesday from five bus termini in the city. Sources said the termini were less crowded on Tuesday. “Most people travelled to their hometowns from Wednesday onwards. Enforcing the social distancing norms would be a challenge then,” sources said.