The almost week-long Pongal holidays have come to an end, and schools, colleges and offices across Tamil Nadu opened today. Since people came back from their nativeplaces to Chennai from last night, roads leading to the city witnessed traffic jams. Meanwhile, many have opted to take leave today, thus extending their vacation up to Sunday. "Hence, another set of traffic jams are expected on Sunday night and Monday morning," officials said.
A total of 14,237 buses were operated from Chennai during Pongal festival days. Long-distance buses were operated from six places — Koyambedu, Madhavaram, K K Nagar, Tambaram Sanatorium, Tambaram and Poonnamallee. On Kaanum Pongal day on Monday, people thronged various public spots in Chennai. They said Kaanum Pongal provided an occasion to round-off their festive revelries of nearly a week-long Pongal holiday.
Last week, the State government announced a holiday on January 14, thereby extending the overall holiday period to six days. However, February 9 would be a compensatory working day.
With January 12 and 13 falling on Saturday and Sunday and January 15, 16 and 17 being declared holidays for Pongal, Tiruvalluvar Day and Uzhavar Thirunaal, respectively, a holiday on January 14 meant students and government employees got to enjoy a six-day holiday.