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Public transport services cripple in South TN

Public transport services were severely affected in Southern districts of Tamil Nadu as the Opposition-backed trade unions of the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) began an indefinite strike over settlement of retirement benefits and payment of operational deficit to the transport corporations among other things, today.

Public transport services cripple in South TN
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Photo: Justin George

Madurai

Majority of TNSTC buses off the roads across South TN, as the strike began last evening itself by a section of transport employees causing hardship to the commuters.  Transport employees affiliated to the Anna Thozhirsanga Peravai of the ruling AIADMK continued to operate bus services, besides the private bus services were also maintained as usual.

The transport strike hits tourists and pilgrims, as thousands were reportedly stranded at Rameswaram, Kanyakumari, Kodaikkanal Hills, Velankanni and elsewhere.

The respective district administrations in coordination with regional transport officials had roped in drivers of private schools and colleges, besides temporary drivers to operate the government buses.

Only 30 percent of the TNSTC buses were being operated in Madurai district. Out of the total 855 buses belonging to 16 TNSTC depots, 298 buses were only running with police protection.  In Thoothukudi district, out of the total 310 buses, less than hundred buses were functional.

Twenty five percent of buses were plying in Dindigul and Theni districts. However, the Kerala State Transport Corporation operates buses to Cumbum and Bodi in Theni district.  Around 35 percent of the TNSTC buses were being operated in Tirunelveli district.

Reports reaching here said more than 90 percent of buses off the roads in Tiruchirapalli and Perambalur districts.  Four TNSTC buses were stoned at Kumbakonam in Thanjavur district in the wee hours.  Police arrested a TNSTC conductor and few others in connection with the stone pelting.

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