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29,213 special buses to be operated for Pongal
The State-run Transport Corporations will operate 29,213 special buses between January 12 and 14 in view of Pongal festival, State Transport Minister MR Vijayabhaskar said here on Tuesday.
“Speaking to reporters at Pallavan house, the headquarters of Metropolitan Transport Corporation, the Minister said 16,075 special buses would ferry passengers from Chennai to various parts of the State between January 12 and 14 to enable the people to go to their hometowns to celebrate the festival. “We expect to carry eight lakh passengers during this Pongal season,” he said.
Operation of these special buses would commence in Chennai from January 10, he said, adding that 2,225 buses along with 4,950 special buses would be operated from January 12, These would be operated from six places in city — Koyambedu, Madhavaram, KK Nagar, Tambaram Sanatorium, Tambaram and Poonamallee on daily basis for three days. Special ticket counters would start functioning at Koyambedu, Tambaram Sanatorium and Poonamalleefrom January 9.
“In addition, 9,995 special buses will be operated from other places. Also 1,974 and 1,474 special buses would be operated respectively from Coimbatore and Tirupur to Salem, Madurai, Tiruchy, Theni and Tirunelveli. From Bengaluru, 602 special buses will be operated to Salem, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Chennai, Karur, Tiruchy and Tirunelveli,” he said, adding that they have made arrangement for temporary terminus like Chennai at Coimbatore, Tirupur, Salem, Tiruchy and Bengaluru to ensure free movement of vehicles.
To enable the passengers to return after the festival, Vijayabhaskar said that Transport Corporation would operate 25,488 buses from January16 to 19.
In Chennai, buses bound to Andhra Pradesh would be operated from Madhavaram bus terminus, while the buses to plying via ECR to Puducherry, Cuddalore and Chidambaram, would start from KK Nagar bus terminus. While special buses heading towards southern districts will depart from Koyambedu, those taking passengers to Thanjavur and Kumbakonam via Vikravandi and Panruti would depart from the temporary bus stand setup at Tambaram.
The buses plying via Tindivanam to Tiruvannamalai, Panruti, Neyveli, Vadalur and Chidambaram would start from Tambaram railway bus terminus. Poonamallee bus stand would be the origin for buses bound for Hosur, Arcot, Vellore andKancheepuram.
On the complaints of private buses fleecing the passengers during festival seasons, the Minister appealed the public to make use of the quality buses operated by the Transport Corporation, charging only low fares. “On the receipt of complaints, we have been taking action on the omni buses. We have set up a 24-hour control room and 11 teams to act on such complaints. The passengers can also lodge complaints about omni bus operators at the toll free number 1800 4256 151,” he said.
To ensure free movement of buses at toll plazas, he said the department has asked the NHAI to allocate a toll lane exclusively for the buses during the festival period.