Air show: Most buses in Chandigarh on shuttle duty, autos have free run : The Tribune India

Air show: Most buses in Chandigarh on shuttle duty, autos have free run

Commuters charged thrice the fare | Schoolchildren stranded

Air show: Most buses in Chandigarh on shuttle duty, autos have free run

Schoolchildren await buses at the ISBT-17, as majority of the CTU fleet was diverted to ferry air show spectators in Chandigarh. Manoj Mahajan



Tribune News Service

Sandeep Rana

Chandigarh, October 6

Commuters were left in the lurch today as they not only struggled to find local buses, but were also fleeced by auto-rickshaw drivers, who charged them almost thrice the fare. Reason: Against over 350 CTU buses plying daily in the tricity, only 40 were put on local routes while the rest were diverted to ferry spectators to Sukhna Lake, the venue of the air show, and back. Worst hit were school/college students as well as office-goers.

While the UT Administration had claimed the bus services were to remain affected from 10.30 am to 8 pm on October 6 and 8, students struggled to find scheduled CTU buses even before 10.30 am at some places.

Mukesh Kumar said: “My children board a CTU bus daily from the stop on the road separating Sectors 31 and 32 at 8.30 am. They failed to find one today and had to go to the bus stop outside the GMCH-32. There, too, they couldn't get a bus. They had a torrid time returning home as well.”

Auto drivers had a field day as they charged almost three times the fare from passengers. Rates of cabs were also marginally increased. “We pay Rs 20 per person on a sharing basis for a ride from Sector 17 to Madhya Marg, but today auto drivers were asking for Rs 60 per head. We are students. It is a rip-off,” said Amita, a schoolgirl waiting at the Sector 17 bus stand.

Many of those who got stuck were angry at the administration. “How can the officials stop an essential service for an air show?” asked Rajesh Kumar, who is in a private job and commutes daily from the city to Zirakpur.

Heavy rush of passengers was seen at the Sector 43 and 17 bus stands as well as bus stops in different parts of the city.

“As an alternative, the authorities should have arranged private buses,” suggested a group of passengers who waited for nearly half an hour at the Sector 17 bus stand.

Huge rush at terminuses

  • Of 350 CTU buses on local routes in tricity, 40 plied on Thursday, while the rest were diverted to ferry spectators for the air show
  • Heavy rush was witnessed at the Sector 43 and 17 bus terminuses as well as bus stops in different parts of the city
  • Auto-rickshaw drivers were seen charging at will from commuters. Rates of cabs were also increased marginally

Snarl-ups on roads post show

  • Snarl-ups were witnessed on city roads at the conclusion of the air show. Nearly 400 buses engaged to ferry thousands of spectators led to congestion on roads
  • Huge rush of buses moving from the lake towards the 11 designated points, where spectators’ vehicles were parked, led to congestion on roads, which were already clogged with commuters returning home from offices
  • Snarl-ups were witnessed near the St Kabir light point in Sector 26, Grain Market chowk and between the Railway and Transport light points
  • Traffic also moved at a snail’s pace on roads towards Mani Majra, which had five designated points. Rush was witnessed near designated points, especially in Sectors 17, 34 and 43

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