Public transportation across Tamil Nadu started on Monday after 170 days. The development is seen as significant, especially for the state economy, considering the state is known for its high intra-state migration.
All the intra-state and inter-district transportation started today morning. The State Express Transport Corporation (SETC), which caters to long distance commuters, has started the service with non-AC buses linking various parts of the state with Chennai. Train services -in addition to special trains from Chennai- also started in various parts of the state. Metro trains also restarted their services with state industry minister, M C Sampath among one of the early passengers.
All the passengers were tested by the health authorities before they were allowed to board the trains and social distancing norms were followed.
K Elangovan, Managing Director, SETC, said initially about 400 non-AC sleeper and semi-sleeper buses will be resumed. The buses will run from CMBT bus terminus, Chennai, as usual. As of now, SETC buses will not be operating across states.
Considering the limited demand for transportation in view of the Covid-19 lockdown, SETC buses will be run on high congestion routes complying with the safety guidelines issued by the government. The buses will be operated with less than 60 percent of carrying capacity. Online booking of tickets will resume in another one or two days, he added.
However, private omnibus operators, who have been pressing for the bus fare to be doubled, maintained that the services will not be resumed citing lack of viability.
Southern Railway said seven special trains which were operated till June 29 during the lockdown will be resumed from September 7.
On June 1, four special trains were introduced on the Coimbatore - Mayiladuthurai, Coimbatore -Katpadi, Villupuram - Madurai and Tiruchy - Nagercoil routes and three more trains in Tiruchy – Chengalpattu (via chordline), Tiruchy – Chengalpattu (via mainline) and Arakkonam – Coimbatore were added after June 12. However, all the seven trains have remained cancelled since June 29.
Three trains from Tiruchy and Madurai which were terminated at Villupuram and Chengalpattu are likely to get extended up to Chennai Egmore. Similarly, two trains from Coimbatore which were operated till Katpadi and Arakkonam respectively will run upto Chennai Central.