Chennai: Normal life was affected in Chennai on Thursday following the statewide bandh called by the opposition parties and traders. While government and private schools functioned normally, office goers and the travelling public faced hardship due to flash road and rail rokos. Parents queued up at schools to pick up their children and a few private schools in Central Chennai were closed past noon.
Ambulances carrying patients to private and government hospitals found it difficult to reach the hospitals as both the arterial Anna Salai and Kamaraj Salai were choked till noon.
Windowpanes of government buses were broken and pro Tamil outfits in Central and North Chennai also pelted stones at private banks and retail showrooms. A few shops and banks which were kept open in the morning were immediately closed following stone pelting events creating tension in Parrys and Doveton. Branches of Kotak Mahindra and ICICI banks were also warned by DMK men and were closed within hours after they were opened for transactions. The bank employees were also asked to leave for the day by their management.
Both Chennai Central and Egmore saw passengers stranded for more than two hours due to inadequate services of MTC buses, autos and cabs. “My in-laws who arrived from Bangalore through intercity express at Chennai Central were stranded for about one and half an hours due to the bandh and finally we got a cab to reach our place in Ashok Nagar”, said P. Malini a stranded housewife at Central railway station.
Though normalcy was restored by around 6 pm, almost 70 percent of commercial firms and shops remained closed throughout the day in Central Chennai. Commercial hubs including T. Nagar, Parry's, Purasaiwalkam, Vadapalani and Mylapore were deserted on Thursday morning. Koyambedu and Parry's corner known for sprawling vegetable and fruit markets also remained closed....