Chennai ,April 20(BPNS)
The long distance bus services stand disrupted in Tamil Nadu after the government banned night travel in the state. After the new restrictions preventing night travel for long distance buses came into effect from Tuesday, the buses started leaving from Koyambedu at 4.30 am.
While night curfew is on in Tamil Nadu after 10 pm, the buses have to reach the destinations before that time and hence early departure from Chennai.
However most of the buses which commenced journey from Koyambedu bus terminal on Tuesday and Wednesday had minimum occupancy and in the Chennai- Nagerocoil long distance bus service , the occupancy was less then 15 % of the bus capacity.
M Selvarajan, senior transport coordinator at Koyambedu mofussil bus stand while speaking to BPNS said, “Most of the buses which commenced services from the Koyambedu terminal had a very low number of people. People seem to be not inclined to travel during day time in buses as the whole day is lost and the hot weather is another reason which reduces the volume of people travelling in long distance buses.”
The last buses to Nagercoil, Tuticorin and Tirunelveli left Koyambedu bus stand before 8 am on Wednesday while almost all the buses for Coimbatore left by 10.30 am.
Krishnagopal, an employee with a government department in Chennai and whose ancestral home is at Tuticorin while speaking to BPNS said, “It is very difficult for me to travel in a day time bus to my home town from Chennai. A whole day is lost and the hot and humid conditions make one very tired. Also we have the fear that if the bus doesn’t reach Tuticorin before the night curfew begins at 10 pm, I will have to do a lot of answering to the police. I am dropping my plan to visit my aged parents for a day or two taking an emergency leave.”
Bus services to Trichy, Salem and Madurai were held back as the State Express Transport Corporation (SETC) buses did not have enough passengers to travel to these destinations from Koyambedu terminal.
Mohammed Afzal , President, Tamil Nadu Omni Bus owners association while speaking to BPNS said ,” We will make sure that at -least 20% of the 2500 strong private buses will be made available to the public for their travel needs during day time. However we also fear very less occupancy as the whole day travel doesn’t suit commuters.“
Bus owners association and the SETC have already appealed to the state government to allow a few night services so that the passenger requirements are met. However till Wednesday, there is no positive response from the state government.