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At Kilambakkam, road roko in middle of night

The public faced many issues in boarding the bus and most of them found it difficult to reach Kilambakkam terminus from the city.

At Kilambakkam, road roko in middle of night
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Agitated commuters blocking roads at Kilambakkam on Friday night

CHENNAI: Commuters, agitated after a long wait for buses at Kilambakkam terminus, took to protest and blocked the GST Road in the middle of the night on Friday, in the latest in a string of incidents after its much-hyped inauguration on December 30.

Right from the inauguration, the Kalaignar Centenary Bus Terminus was mired in controversies. The public faced many issues in boarding the bus and most of them found it difficult to reach Kilambakkam terminus from the city. Government officials and ministers are visiting the bus terminus regularly and suggesting modifications to lessen the commuter woes.

However, the commuters complain of hardship in boarding buses from Kilambakkam terminus, especially during night hours. They claim that the buses are not being operated properly at night, and the situation worsens during weekends as there are no extra buses to cater to native-bound holiday travellers.

On Friday night, the Kilambakkam terminus was crowded with commuters waiting for their buses to Villupuram, Tiruvannamalai, Gingee, Tiruchy, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Nagercoil. Most of the passengers who booked their tickets were waiting for the buses to arrive for a long time. Andrew, a commuter who booked a private bus ticket to Tirunelveli, told DT Next that he was supposed to board from Kilambakkam at 7.30 pm but the bus was delayed for four hours and it arrived only at midnight.

Since all the buses were delayed for several hours, the public lost their cool and resorted to a protest on GST road, waylaying vehicles.

Protesters seek more buses on weekends

The protesters claimed that every day buses were being delayed and the authorities were not finding a permanent solution. They demanded more buses to be operated in Kilambakkam during the weekends since the footfall almost doubles.

Following the protest, the traffic came to a standstill on the GST Road with bumper-to-bumper vehicles waiting for more than 1 km. Soon, the police from Guduvanchery, Maraimalai Nagar, Vandalur and Tambaram rushed to the spot and held discussions with the protestors, who refused to move and argued that commuters were repeatedly made to suffer at Kilambakkam terminus.

After officials arranged a few buses for the affected, around 2 am, commuters gave up the protest and dispersed. It affected traffic heavily in the early morning hours of Saturday.

Officials of the State Transport Department told DT Next that buses were delayed due to a road accident in Maduranthagam, and added: “Also, there was an unexpected crowd in Kilambakkam on Friday night.”

Sam Augustine
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