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Tour plan to turn around NBSTC

Siliguri, May 9: The chairman of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation today said he would hold talks with Assam, Sikkim and Bihar governments to introduce integrated package tours, using the NBSTC buses to ferry tourists to different destinations in north Bengal and the three states.

Gautam Deb said the move was aimed at increasing the earnings of the NBSTC, which was reeling from a financial crisis. “We have decided to revive the package tours, introduced earlier by the NBSTC, but in a different manner. Earlier, the package tours were organised by the NBSTC alone for different destinations in Bengal, Bhutan and Nepal. This time, we plan to do it in an integrated manner by tying up with the transport departments of neighbouring Sikkim, Bihar and Assam,” Deb said at the Matigara depot of the NBSTC.

A couple of years back, the transport enterprise had introduced package tours from Siliguri, Cooch Behar and other locations. The project was christened “Sabujer Hatchani” (The Green Beckons) but soon suffered a setback because of lack of planning.

Apart from the revival of the package tours, Deb said it has been decided to introduce 252 additional buses on profitable routes across the region. “Out of these, 240 would be old buses which have been repaired. We will have to buy 12 new buses,” said Deb, who is also the north Bengal development minister.

The NBSTC has set a monthly target of Rs 6.5 crore. “ Such targets are necessary to tide over the crisis and augment income,” Deb said.