The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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We Ask You Answer
Tourism bells for tramcars

A.K. Mukherjee,
Mandeville Gardens.

No. Trams should be run for children, the old and the handicapped, who find it difficult to board buses but cannot afford taxis. The main problem with trams is the lack of dependability. A passenger waiting for a tram does not know when the next tram will come. The existing network, if run efficiently, can fulfil an important need of society. Passenger density will improve and revenue will increase if trams are run more frequently on select routes. A few congested narrow routes can be phased out though. The beautiful network built over centuries should not be ruined. Moreover, trams are not only pollution free, but save foreign exchange as well, as they do not use petrol or diesel as fuel.

Tapan Mukherjee,

Yes, precisely. Trams should be run only to promote tourism. Itís a great move.

Uday Mazumdar,
Salt Lake.

Trams are our pride. They offer a pollution-free comfortable journey and are most advantageous for schoolchildren and the elderly. At present, trams are being used for wedding ceremonies. I think it is a good idea. We do not want to bid goodbye to this vehicle. Trams also help promote tourism.

Anindita Choudhury,

Definitely not. Besides being clean, safe and environment-friendly, trams are an integral part of our cityís heritage. In fact, instead of running thousands of buses, more trams should be deployed for the purpose. In order to promote tourism, too, running trams is definitely a good idea. We know heritage trams are being arranged for the purpose. Trams should not be taken off the tracks completely.

New Alipore.

Tramcars should be run in our city not only to promote tourism but also as a means of transport. It is a traditional vehicle of our city. It has been there on the streets since the British period and has served generations. Now that it is being promoted for tourists to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the city of joy, it does not mean that we totally ignore its importance as a passenger vehicle.

Vineeta Nair,
Selimpur Road.

If trams are made to run only for promoting tourism, what will happen to the people who still consider trams as one of their means of transport to reach their destinations' However, I am not against using it for promoting tourism. Keeping in mind the economic condition of the state transport corporation, I feel some trams should be remodelled to attract foreigners and thus promote tourism. The other trams, too, should be properly maintained for safe travel. Trams are a part of the cultural heritage of Bengal and should not remain as they are now. Apart from promoting tourism, the transport corporation should also think about the citizens.

Dibyendu Chakraborty,
Belgachhia Road.

Though tramcars are slow-moving, a journey by tram is pollution-free. Tramcars are used for the aged and children as they offer a comfortable ride. But, as soon as a tramcar gets derailed, the subsequent ones will be stranded in a queue occupying a lot of road space and causing traffic snarls. Passengers, who are in a hurry to reach their destinations, often avoid this vehicle. Trams should be run only for promoting tourism since the CTC is incurring heavy losses.

Rhitam Basak,
Beadon Street.

No, trams should not be run only to promote tourism. Trams, being slow but steady, cheap but capable of covering long distances, must never only be used to promote tourism. Trams happen to be the chosen mode of transport for the aged, poor and disabled. Calcutta is the only Indian city where trams are run. It is associated with our culture and highlights the uniqueness of the city of joy. Trams are pollution-free. In many areas of Calcutta, these are the only means of conveyance (for instance, a trip from Esplanade to Chitpur). Trams are much better than the killer buses. Some trams can surely be exclusively used for tourism to earn revenue, but the rest must be for the public.

Krishnendu Majumdar,
Address not given.

Trams are an integral part of the transport system of our city. They are eco-friendly as well as user-friendly for women, children and senior citizens. Trams should not be relegated to the position of a tourism-booster only. Rather, all tram tracks in the city should be raised on high level bridges. This will allow cars and buses much more road surface to ply on. Trams will also move at a far greater speed without being hindered by the movement of other vehicles. Moreover, in case of any mechanical snag on the tracks, trams will remain confined to the bridge, keeping the road surface unaffected.

Rakesh Bera,
Address not given.

Definitely not. Tram is undoubtedly a slow-moving car. But it is an ideal mode of transport which makes a journey very comfortable. Tram is absolutely pollution-free as it does not emit poisonous fumes. Services of trams may be partially withdrawn from the congested areas at peak hours. But the traffic department should keep a constant watch for better maintenance of tracks. Tram accidents are rare. A tram car can carry passengers three times more than that of any other public transport. Calcutta is among a small number of cities in the world where tram services are available. For the sake of our heritage, tram services should be kept alive.

Suman ray,
Address not given.

A congested city like Calcutta is not fit for trams moving at a snailís pace. A mechanical snag on the track can bring down the enire traffic system to a halt. These vehicles are cumbersome and using them for sight-seeing or promoting tourism are the best options.

Jayanta datta,
Chinsurah, Hooghly.

Yes, certainly. As far as tourism is concerned, trams can play a crucial role. Tram is the only vehicle which can be termed pollution-free. Many countries have retained trams for this reason. It is a matter of regret that Calcutta could not get the milege despite having a tram. If this programme is undertaken seriously, it would change the face of tourism in the state.

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