Tamil Nadu: Metro Rail, long distance trains and bus services resume

A passenger wearing face mask takes a train train station, on the first day of the restart of their operations | Photo: Reuters

After a five-month plus hiatus,

the Chennai Metro Rail services and long distance buses linking various districts in Tamil Nadu recommenced operations on Monday.

Similarly, trains within the state also resumed services after a break of about two months.

Notably, passenger trains and long distance buses to Chennai city from other parts of Tamil Nadu and services from the state capital began on Monday after they were ceased in March owing to COVID-19.

When the first Metro train departed from the Airport to Washermenpet, at 7 am, Industries Minister M C Sampath was among those who boarded the train and he travelled up to Nandanam station.

Train stoppage time at stations has been increased from 20 seconds to 50 seconds to facilitate passengers to de-board and board by maintaining social distancing and also to ensure fresh air circulation.

Stickers were stuck and markings have been made both in trains and platforms so that passengers could sit on alternate seats to ensure social distancing.

The Metrorail, which has began operations in the Blueline between Airport and Washermanpet via Anna Salai, services in the Greenline from St Thomas Mount to MGR Central Metro would start from September 9.

The authorities had already announced that services will be open till 8 pm and there will be no inter-corridor movement between Central Metro and Airport stations requesting passengers to plan their journeys accordingly.

Long distance buses run by government transport corporations connecting various destinations within Tamil Nadu began operations across the state.

An official told P T I that the passenger turnout was moderate and online reservations "should improve" in the days to come.

Barring Chennai and nearby three districts, inter- zonal (each zone comprises a number of nearby districts) bus transport, that commenced on June 1, was suspended on June 26. Later, as part of relaxations, the government had allowed buses within districts from September 1 and from now on, bus services have been resumed in a full fledged manner.

Also, trains within Tamil Nadu including the daily Chennai-Coimbatore Intercity, Chennai Egmore TiruchchirappalliChennai Egmore and Coimbatore- Mayiladuthurai-Coimbatore Janshatabdi Special (except Tuesdays) resumed services.

The General Manager, Southern Railway on his twitter handle said: "573 passengers were on board Special Train No. 02636 Madurai - Chennai Egmore special train, the first fully reserved train to leave Madurai as part of #Unlock4 - All the laid down safety protocols were duly adhered - RPF and frontline staff were deployed to guide passengers."

Contactless ticket checking was done at the platform and temperature of passengers was monitored through thermal cameras and trains and platforms were sanitised using disinfectants.

The Southern Railway, following a request of the state government had on June 27 announced cancellation of special trains (including Tiruchirappalli-Chengelpet-Tiruchirappalli Superfast Intercity Express, and Coimbatore-Mayiladuthurai- Coimbatore Janshatabdi) within Tamil Nadu.

The government had requested cancellation of trains in view of an increase in COVID cases. However, such trains did not connect Chennai city to other destinations in Tamil Nadu and vice-versa though special trains that linked Chennai to Delhi were operated.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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