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News Entry# 288473
  
Dec 13 2016 (09:16)  Train, Air Services Left In Disarray (epaperbeta.timesofindia.com)
News Entry# 288473     
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Posted by: Anurag WAPAHOLIC~  846 news posts
The strongest cyclone witnessed by Chennai in two decades left train operations in the city and its neighbouring suburbs in disarray .While 31 long-distance trains were cancelled, suburban services were suspended from 1pm and many more trains were stranded at locations outside Chennai. Sixteen trains were held up in the Jolarpettai-Chennai Central section and four trains in the Villupuram-Chennai Egmore section. Platforms on Chennai Beach and Central stations were badly damaged.Overhead cables snapped on the Chennai-Arakkonam sector, trees fell on the track at Perambur, Egmore and Chetpet, which delayed and later led to the suspension of services.
Passengers at Chennai Central were stranded without electricity as also cab and auto services, though food was available in the umpteen stalls. At around 1pm,
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bus services stopped and auto drivers began to charge a premium of at least Rs 100 above the meter rates.Suburban commuters were stranded at different stations en route. Railway Protection Force personnel escorted commuters from stranded EMU trains near Ennore station to the nearest bus stands. Railway officials ensured that trains with pantry cars were stocked up properly .
At the Chennai airport, waterlogging on the primary runway and taxi track disrupted 340 services. Twenty-seven flights to Chennai were diverted to other airports, nine flights were delayed and five were cancelled, said airport director G Chandramouli.
The airfield, closed since 8am, was scheduled to be opened at 9pm but airport authorities postponed it till midnight.“Only when the weather turns normal services will be resumed,“ said an airport official.
About 300 passengers, who either came to board a flight or had landed at the airport, were stranded at the terminal since Sunday night since cabs and other transport services were not available outside, said Chandramouli. Airports Authority of India distributed food to the stranded flyers on Monday afternoon, he said. Private carrier IndiGo said it will refund in full passengers whose flights were affected by Vardah.
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