According to reports, about 1,500 buses will be operated from the capital Chennai and over 3,000 buses from other districts, making it a total of 4,500 buses.

Aerial shot of buses at a depot in Tamil NaduFile Image
Coronavirus Lockdown Sunday, May 23, 2021 - 10:01

The Tamil Nadu government on May 22, Saturday, announced that it would be operating 40% of its bus fleet for all those planning to move between districts over the weekend — May 22 and 23. This announcement came soon after the government announced a week-long extension to its lockdown, ending on May 31. According to reports, about 1,500 buses will be operated from the capital city Chennai and over 3,000 buses will run from other districts, making it a total of 4,500 buses.

Buses will ply between districts such as Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Trichy, Madurai, and more during the weekend. In Chennai, MTC buses will be operated for those travelling to CMBT and Tambaram bus terminus. The government also announced that based on demand more buses will be roped in. Minister of Transport RS Raja Kannappan told reporters, “We want to make sure passengers don’t face any difficulties while travelling. The depots in every district have a manager posted. Buses will be operated until 11.30 pm on both days,” he said.

The Minister added that arrangements have been made to avoid crowding both at depots and inside buses. “As per the Chief Minister’s instructions, physical distancing will be strictly adhered to. People can also travel by private omnibuses. We have also sent strict instructions to the bus services not to charge exorbitant rates for the journeys,” he said. Action will be taken against private service providers who charge exorbitant rates.

Accordingly, buses are also being operated from Madurai to districts such as Coimbatore, Tiruppur, Cumbum, Theni, Tiruchendur, Rajapalayam, Virudhunagar and Chennai.

Tamil Nadu government extended lockdown by a week on Saturday, May 22. Chief Minister MK Stalin announced the government's decision after holding discussions with a medical panel and a legislature committee comprising members from all parties on Saturday, besides officials. Accordingly, for people's benefit, shops will remain open till 9 pm on Saturday and from 6 am to 9 pm on Sunday, when otherwise a day-long total shutdown will be in place.

(With inputs from PTI)

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