Only a few passengers take up long-distance travel

Buses operated from Tirunelveli to places like Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Salem and Tirupur have a decent number of passengers

As the restrictions imposed by the Tamil Nadu government a couple of days ago in the wake of ‘second wave’ of COVID-19 had adverse impact on the long-distance travellers as only a few passengers travelled in the long-distance buses operated during the day on Tuesday.

The restrictions enforced on the operation of long-distance buses from Tuesday onwards had adverse impact on the number of passengers travelling in the State Express Transport Corporation buses. As the SETC operated the long-distance buses to destinations like Chennai from 7 a.m. on Tuesday, only a few passengers undertook the daytime journey from Tirunelveli.

“The first bus to Chennai left Tirunelveli at 7 a.m. and the last bus at 10 a.m. since we’ve to reach Chennai before 10 p.m. as stipulated in the newly imposed restrictions on operation of buses. Since most of the travellers don’t prefer the tiresome daytime travel under scorching heat, the number of travellers is very low. Most of the buses left for their destinations with less than 25% of their total capacity,” said the driver of a SETC bus leaving for Chennai.

On noticing the number of passengers travelling to Chennai is very small, the conductors took the passengers even to Kovilpatti or Virudhunagar the towns situated en-route.

However, the buses operated from Tirunelveli to places like Coimbatore, Tiruchi, Salem and Tirupur had a decent number of passengers.

At the same time, the passengers expressed concern over the non-availability of buses to Nagercoil after 8 p.m.

Collector V. Vishnu, who had a virtual meeting with senior subordinates on Tuesday on implementing the curbs imposed by the State Government and the total lockdown on Sundays, said the regional and taluk level surveillance teams should act tough against the violators by slapping fine on them.

He said the officials should monitor the number of persons participating in weddings and funerals for which the government had given a guideline to curb crowding. Participants of these events should strictly follow the COVID-19 appropriate behaviour.

Moreover, the marriage halls, community halls, cinema theatres, markets, restaurants, shopping malls, supermarkets should be forced to scrupulously follow the norms stipulated by the government to check the spread of viral infection.

“If any violation is noticed, seal the business establishments,” said Mr. Vishnu adding that ₹ 55.96 lakh had been collected as fine so far from the violators.

The Collector said ‘kabasurakudineer’ was being given to the public when they come to the Corporation or the Collectorate to avail the official services. The inter-district check-posts and the police outposts across the district had been strengthened so as to check the travellers for COVID-19.

He said that the public could get their doubts clarified by calling the control room via 0462 – 2501070 and send message (SMS or WhatsApp) to 63740 13254 or 94999 33893.

Police Commissioner of Tirunelveli City T.S. Anbu, Superintendent of Police, Tirunelveli District, N. Manivannan, Tirunelveli Corporation Commissioner G. Kannan, Project Director, District Rural Development Agency, Manthirachalam, Deputy Director of Health Services Varadharajan and senior revenue officials participated in the meeting conducted through video-conferencing.

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