The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We Ask You Answer
Green light to a green ride

Sunita Wadhwani,
S.R. Das Road.

No. Trams are a major mode of transport. Unfortunately, they are not run properly. The CTC should be immediately privatised. Trams are preferred in countries like Germany and Australia because they are eco-friendly and affordable. Instead of doing away with them, I would recommend that the network be spruced up. With proper utilisation of surplus manpower, the CTC will become viable.

Madhusree Gupta,
Anil Roy Road.

Using tramcars for promotion of tourism is a wonderful idea. But they must also remain a mode of transport. Calcutta needs tramcars for its elderly middle-class. The deadly speed of the buses that indulge in killing races among themselves, their high foot-boards and jerks make travelling difficult for the aged, the children and the infirm. Trams offer a comfortable journey, reminding us of the old days, when our metropolis had not caught the ‘fever and fret’ of city life.

Piyal Mukherjee,
Lake Town.

It is a fact that road space available in Calcutta is quite limited. Tram is one of the most comfortable modes of conveyance but its disadvantage is that it occupies a lot of road space and causes traffic snarls. Although the demand for discontinuation of trams is gathering momentum, it may at best be taken off the congested areas. In other parts, trams should be continued not only to promote tourism but also to provide the public a pollution-free mode of conveyance.

Debyani Basu,

I am against the proposal. The volume of traffic has multiplied, but the road space remains the same. So, we have to face acute traffic jams. Many of us point fingers at trams. I think the criticism is one-sided. Tram is absolutely pollution-free as it does not emit poisonous fumes. Its manually-operated bell is easier on the ear than the shrill horn of buses. It is an ideal means of transportation for the aged and the physically challenged as it moves slowly. In fact, tram accidents are quite rare. We should take the initiative to increase its services rather than use it only to promote tourism.

B.N. Bose,
Dum Dum Park.

Certainly not. Elderly people prefer to travel by tram. Moreover, trams carry passengers on various routes. However, a few trams could be utilised to promote tourism. The CTC should maintain the tram tracks and introduce new trams which would run faster. This will attract people to travel by tram. Four trams with appropriate decorations could be used for tourism.

Arunava Bose Chowdhury,

Despite the slow movement which cripples traffic, trams, compared to other modes of transport, are environment-friendly, economic and safe for the infirm and the aged. However, tramcars eat up a lot of road space. To increase the speed of other vehicles, they should be pulled out of the congested roads.

More boulevards should be constructed so that they can run without disturbing the flow of the traffic. Trams should be retained not for heritage value but as a convenient mode of transport.

Diptimoy Ghosh,
Salt Lake.

Tram is an eco-friendly mode of conveyance. But most people who have to cover long distances in a fixed time avoid trams. Again, trams cannot move if there is a power cut. If a tramcar breaks down owing to a mechanical fault or derailment, it creates a snarl.

sidering these factors, only a few tramcars (say about 20 per cent of the existing fleet) may ply for public conveyance. Luxury features may be added to some tram cars which may be converted into tourist trams. This tourist tram may be let out for social functions as well as for joy rides. These can also host mobile exhibitions for fine arts and handicraft with provisions for sale on board. Trams may also be used as goods carriers from one depot to another.

Udayan Banerjee,

Yes, it is totally an absurd logic that in the age of IT, tram services have become outdated. They certainly have their use in an accident-prone city like Calcutta.

Promoting tourism to earn money during a financial crisis is an useful side of tram services. It can be used to fulfill social purposes, too.

Ujjal Bhattacharyya,
CIT Road.

Trams should not be run just to promote tourism. They meet the transportation demands of the people. Of course, if the state can turn its tram service into a source of attraction, it will be a welcome move. However, stress ought to be laid on the maintenance of the vehicles, repairing of the tracks and regularity of service. Over the years, its demand has fallen, but it is still economical. Instead of removing tracks to broaden the carriageway, the authorities should improve traffic control measures. The services need a face-lift, with tourism as one of the potential usage areas.

Prahlad Agarwal,
Majdia, Nadia.

Trams are considered the safest mode of transport as commuters of all age groups find it comfortable to travel by. Besides, trams are a part of our heritage and should never be run only for promoting tourism.

saadia sitwat,
Linton Street.

I don’t think so. Trams are a pocket-friendly mode of communication. In an age when eco-friendliness is an important aspect of consideration, tramcars deserve to stay on. As far as promotion of tourism is concerned, a few trams can be selected for the purpose instead of doing away with them altogether.

arabinda kumar sahay,
Rabindra Sarani.

Nobody will want to tour the city on a slow-moving vehicle. Trams should be totally replaced by fast-paced and traffic-friendly modes of communication. Running of trams is a waste of manpower.

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