There is uncertainty over the shifting of a bus terminus, thanks to an internal feud within the CPM. The terminus of four bus routes — 35, 35A, 35B and S12 — previously on Beleghata Main Road was shifted to Salt Lake last week. However, CPM leaders of Beleghata and local Nagarik Committee members on Tuesday met transport minister Subhas Chakraborty at his residence and demanded that the terminus be shifted back to Beleghata immediately.
CSTC officials, Calcutta Traffic Police and the transport department jointly took the decision last week to shift the bus terminus of these four routes from Beleghata Main Road to Salt Lake. The buses are now plying from Karunamoyee in Salt Lake via Sector V and Nicco Park, before entering Beleghata. “The buses had to be shifted to Salt Lake as it is not possible to set up a terminus on the Bypass, as was the demand earlier,” a transport department official said.
“The terminus was causing problems for traffic movement on Beleghata Main Road,” according to M.K. Singh, deputy commissioner of police (traffic). “On the road, there is two-way traffic, which is increasing everyday. The terminus was affecting traffic flow,” Singh said.
Residents of Beleghata blocked the road and held rallies to protest the move. The Calcutta Nagarik Sammelan, Ward 33 committee, submitted a memorandum to the transport minister on Tuesday, demanding that the terminus be shifted immediately to Beleghata.
“The terminus has been on Beleghata Main Road for long. If it is shifted from the area, it will inconvenience many people,” pointed out Prasanta Chatterjee, former mayor of Calcutta and CPM’s Rajya Sabha MP, on Wednesday. A plot has been identified by the Circular canal on Chaulpatti Road, behind the Calcutta Improvement Trust housing estate, for the purpose.
CPM leaders said the land belongs to the state irrigation department and “there should not be any problem in setting up the terminus there”. Mrinal Roychowdhury, local CPM leader, pointed out: “This terminus has been here for the past 50 years. Since then, the population in the locality has increased manifold. If it is shifted, the local people will be inconvenienced.”
“Office-goers find it difficult to board the bus now when it comes packed from Salt Lake,” said Shyamal Dey, a local resident. Sources said minister Subhas Chakraborty had promised the agitated residents he would check the status of the plot.