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Kolkata to have additional fleet of 100 buses before Puja

The vehicles have been finalised after studying the demand from commuters and scarcity of private vehicles: officials

Kinsuk Basu | Published 18.09.22, 04:04 AM
Representational file image

Representational file image

Kolkata will have a fleet of 100 new buses, including 59 air-conditioned ones before Puja.

Senior officials said the routes of these buses have been finalised after studying the demand from commuters and the scarcity of private buses. 

The decision to induct buses comes at a time when several private bus operators in the city have been withdrawing their fleet as are unable to meet the expenses of the rising fuel cost and operational charges.

Several of them have been pressing for a hike in fares, which the state government is opposed to.

With private buses disappearing after the evening peak hours, commuters at night are forced to wait for long at bus stops to return home.

“Hopefully, the woes of daily commuters will be addressed to some extent,” said state transport minister Senhasis Chakraborty. 

The state government has decided to run buses during pujas through the night this year for the first time.

Senior officers said several revellers wait for buses on the roads at night to go pandal hopping and the state-run buses will be of help.

The air-conditioned buses that will start plying next week will cover the city and its adjoining areas, while the non AC ones will connect the city to the suburbs like Serampore, Barasat, Amta, Malancha and Ghatakpukur.   

A few of the new AC buses will be meant for long-distance travels to Asansol and Digha from Esplanade, Barasat and Habra on the northern fringes of the city. 

Another fleet of 120 buses will start rolling out after the Pujas, officials said, adding that these will be let out to franchises. 

“We have asked officers of our enforcement wing to start visiting routes and check if private bus operators were collecting more than the government-prescribe fares,” an official of the transport department said.

“There have been reports that on some routes operators were charging more than the prescribed fare. We will take action against such violators.”

Last updated on 18.09.22, 04:04 AM
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