CHENNAI: Ahead of the reopening of most schools on Monday, a day when several weddings are also scheduled, people flocked to Chennai on Sunday leaving a large part of suburban highway stretches congested.
It took more than two hours for cars to cross the 35-km stretch between Chengalpet and Tambaram. Vehicles began piling up at Paranur toll plaza since 5 pm where it took at least 15 minutes for a vehicle to cross. Matters got worse as night fell.
Many started taking interior roads (Nellikuppam route), but ended up worsening the congestion at Guduvancherry. A road accident at Singaperumal Koil late in the evening had traffic police personnel struggling to find an alternative route. Road expansion work in several places didn’t help.
“Vehicular flow is expected to increase at night and early on Monday. The police should have anticipated this crowd and announced traffic diversions as they do during festival weekends,” said Ganesh, a truck driver from Guduvancherry.
At least, they should have stopped toll collection temporarily as they did in the past during extreme congestion, he said.
As not many Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses were operated from Perungalathur, a key transit point on NH 45, people had to book more cabs or autos to reach their homes. This led to fleecing of passengers.
Private omni buses charged twice the usual fare to transport passengers back to Chennai from southern districts of Tirunelveli, Madurai and Tuticorin.