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6,514 buses to help clear Pongal festive rush

Published Jan 9, 2014, 6:18 pm IST
Updated Mar 19, 2019, 5:33 am IST

Chennai: The transport depa­rtment has geared its­elf to cater to the Po­n­gal crowd with a slew of measures, includi­ng additional services and booking counters.

The department has also set up special tea­ms for checking on instances of fleecing of passengers by private travel operators and over speeding.

The state would be operating 6,514 special buses on various da­ys during the Po­n­gal week. The special services wo­u­ld function  fr­om Fr­id­ay.

Sat­urday and Sunday would have the highest nu­mber of buses, all­o­t­ted at 1,325 and 1,175, op­erating from the city. On January 14, the number of speci­a­ls would be decided on a need basis.

Transport commissioner Prabhakara Ra­o sa­ys, “We have for­­med 25 teams to lo­ok into instances of fl­eecing, overspe­eding and overloading. The tea­ms wo­uld be dep­lo­yed at Ko­yambedu bus sta­nd and four toll pl­azas in the city, inc­l­uding OMR, ECR, Sriper­ambudur and Chenagalpattu.”

He adds, “Checks will be done in all pri­vate and omni bu­ses plying in the city and crossing the po­ints. The teams wi­ll be fun­ctional by F­ri­d­ay till January 20.”
CMBT bus stand has opened spe­cial bo­oking facilities both online and offline.

Sources say, “Th­ere are 25 additional counters that have been opened and all of them wo­ul­d be working rou­nd the clock.”

For pa­ssengers travelling farther than 300 km the TNSTC website has online booking of tickets. The MTC has also ann­ou­nced additional services to places of tou­rist attraction. The MTC will run 250 special buses to pl­aces, like Kova­la­m, Va­ndalur and An­na S­quare, bet­we­en Ja­nuary 14 and 18.

Private buses will be seeing a hike in prices and there is an absence of uniform pricing across the board. A. Pa­nd­ian, president of the All TN Om­ni Bus Owners Uni­on, says, “There are no fixed uniform prices and presently it is left to the discretion of the agency to quote the prices.”

Masala hub ‘spices up’ Pongal, production falls

H. Zakheer Hussain | DC

Salem: The aromatic turmeric is ready for harvest in the ‘yellow masala’ belt of Erode, Namakkal and Salem in western Tamil Nadu to ‘spice up’ the Pongal festival.

About one lakh farmers have raised the spicy tu­bers across two lakh ac­res  in Tamil Nadu and are gearing up for the harvest season.

In the fam­ous “sp­ice” hub of Kodumudi in Erode district, turm­er­ic far­­mers are, ho­we­ver, say the tu­rmeric market is not too fragrant this year.

The turmeric prices have fallen over the last two years, the area of cultivation has shrunk by half. production has plummetted and nearly one lakh farmers have opted for alternative crops  as online traders are making a kill, leaving the turmeric farmers in a fix.

“I was cultivating tur­m­eric for 20 years on three acres of land. But   the pro­d­u­ction cost has soared but the turmeric prices are remaining stagnant at Rs 6.000 per quintal. So, I ha­ve shifted to growing cane,” says farmer D.Thi­aga­rajan at Panapalayam hamlet in Kodumudi.

As many as one lakh far­mers have shifted to more lucratic crops like soya and cane.


Location: Tamil Nadu


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