Hundreds of commuters and people travelling long distances in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu were stranded from Sunday midnight as state transport corporation workers’ unions began their indefinite strike to press for higher wages to combat inflation.
Only skeletal staff arrived for duty even as transport minister MR Vijayabhaskar said that the government had roped in retired bus drivers and conductors to run as many buses as possible.
V Srilekha, a student, lamented on Monday morning that she had to attend an examination at 10 am and her daily trip took a minimum of two hours.
“I appeal to the union people to allow buses to ply as otherwise I will miss the exam,” she told a private television channel at Koyambedu bus stand.
The workers of the state owned transport corporation went on strike after four rounds of talks with the government failed.
With the government run buses largely off the road, private transporters were making a killing, charging at least double of the regular fare.
The transport minister said government will take strict action against private transporters who were overcharging.
The TN government also requested the railways, which began operating several special trains—local and long distance—to help deal with the disruption due to the strike.
The government has also invited the unions for talks to end the strike.