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Transit points crowded as voters head home
Railway stations and bus stands in the city were crowded on Wednesday night as many hurried to catch buses and trains to reach their native to cast votes or enjoy the long weekend.
Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus (CMBT), which usually remains sedentary on weekdays, was full of passengers on Wednesday. Even though the State-owned transport corporations are operating nearly 400 buses, many unreserved passengers were seen scrambling for seats.
“I am going to Vedaranyam to castmy vote with my family. But I could not get seats for us. However, a conductor has promised to help us,” M Balasubramanium, a resident of Tirumullaivoyal said.
At the Chennai Contract Carriage BusTerminus (Omnibus stand), the scene wassimilar and many passengers were even ready to pay an extra fare. The private omnibuses were operated full.
“On usual days, our buses would run with 30 to 40 per cent unoccupied seats. On Wednesday, all the buses linked to our association were full. The crowd is slightly higher than the usual weekend crowd,” G Maran, Treasurer of Tamil Nadu Omni Buses Owners Association, said.
Omnibus owners operated additional buses, too. “On lean days, we will keep a fewof our permitted buses at shed according to the crowd. Today (Wednesday), all of our buses are on the road,” he added.
When asked whether the bus owners collect any extra fare from the passengers, Maran debunked the allegation and said that all the fare details of the buses are in the association’s website. “Some buses are providing additional facilities such as individual mobile phone charging sockets, etc. Those buses may collect Rs 100 or Rs 200 extra. But all the other buses are collecting a fixed fare,” he said.
Similarly, Chennai Central and Egmore railway stations were also unusually overcrowded with those heading home to cast their vote and also enjoy the long weekend.
Several south-bound trains starting from Egmore were overcrowded as migrant workers cramped themselves into jam-packed trains to reach their home (constituencies) to queue up outside the polling booths.
Pandian Express, Cheran Express, Muthu Nagar Express and Rockfort were among the trains which required RPF assistance before departure as people jostled for space in the trains.
Vehicles pile up on GST Road
The people travelling to their respective constituencies to cast vote a day ahead of the poll created a bottleneck on GST Road in Perungalathur on late Tuesday and Wednesday. Vehicles piled up in Perungalathur as passengers flocked here to board private buses. Due to the elections and subsequent government holidays, several people from Chennai and Kancheepuram travelled out of town. Passengers complained that there weren’t enough policemen to control the traffic as the department was busy with election duty. A police officer said that they did not expect such a huge crowd and added, “Proper arrangements will be made to control the traffic on Monday when the crowd returns to the city.”