Life virtually came to a grinding halt in Chennai as the city woke up to deserted streets with shops, including eateries, remaining shut in the wake of the demise of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. Public transport services, including autorickshaws, were off the roads while some private vehicles were seen plying in various parts of the city where police personnel kept a tight vigil at vantage points.
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A near total shutdown like situation prevailed in the city and several other parts of the state since last evening itself. The focus today turned to Rajaji Hall where Jayalalithaa’s body is lying in state to enable public pay their homage.
With even tea stalls, which usually do a brisk business in the early hours, remaining closed, mobile tea vendors could be seen dispensing the brew at some places. Hotels are also closed. Suburban train services, however, were being operated in the city, albeit with lower passenger rush.
Long distance trains arriving at Chennai Central and Egmore stations were on time. The state government has declared a holiday today for its offices and three-days for educational institutions as a mark of respect to the departed leader.
Meanwhile, the Tamil film industry announced cancellation of shootings scheduled for today. Theaters also cancelled shows.