Anticipating the huge rush of Shiv Sainiks from Pune to attend the last rites of Shiv Sena supremo Balasaheb Thackeray in Mumbai, many passengers of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) cancelled their reservations on Sunday.
However, despite cancellations, the state transport buses were jam-packed as hundreds of Shiv Sainiks rushed to Mumbai on Sunday morning.
Ever since the news of Thackeray’s demise spread, staunch Shiv Sainiks from the city started heading towards Mumbai to pay tributes to the Sena chief. While hundreds of Shiv Sainiks left the city on Saturday night, those who could not reach Mumbai on Saturday started leaving Pune early on Sunday morning.
Vijay Divate, senior depot manager of Swargate ST depot, said, “On Saturday, nearly 10% of the passengers cancelled their tickets. On Sunday morning also we received nearly five per cent cancellation.”
Though there were 10-15% cancellations, a large number of buses left for Mumbai, which were mainly occupied by Shiv Sainiks.
Divate said, “The rush increased on Sunday as many of the passengers started leaving for Mumbai since morning. We had arranged for extra buses to clear the rush of passengers.”
The Pune-Mumbai Expressway also witnessed heavy traffic between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.
The highway police said, “The traffic on expressway started increasing from Saturday night as many Shiv Sainiks were seen going to Mumbai in private vehicles. Traffic movement on expressway increased on Sunday as well.”