Residents of New Town are demanding more buses to improve the township’s connectivity to other parts of the city.
The need for adequate public transport is being felt acutely now as most Covid-19 restrictions have been withdrawn and a large number of residents are having to commute to their workplaces.
Travelling by app cab or personal car daily is proving to be unviable because of the sharp rise in fuel prices and increase in app cab fares.
The residential areas of New Town in all three action areas have been growing steadily but transport remains a key issue in many parts of the township.
“We are aware of the problem and are trying to introduce more buses in a phased manner,” said Debashis Sen, chairman of New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA).
More than 20 bus routes originate from and end in New Town. The buses travel to Howrah in the west, Parnasree in the southwest and Garia in the south, among other places.
Sukhobrishti Housing Complex, in Action Area III, is a mini-township itself with 10,000 homes.
Residents, however, said the buses that leave the Sukhobrishti bus stand do not go to ‘key places’ in the city such as Gariahat, Ruby, Tollygunge and Golf Green.
Supriyo Bhattacharjee, a resident of Sukhobrishti who works at an office in Golf Green, said travelling to and from work by app cab was burning a hole in his pocket because of the rise in app cab fares.
“App cab fares from here to Golf Green are now abnormally high. Earlier, it would cost me around Rs 800 to travel to the office and back home. Now, I have to pay more than Rs 1,000,” he said.
Supriyo travels till Chingrighata by bus and from there takes another bus to the Ruby crossing. From Ruby, he boards yet another bus to reach Golf Green.
Similar problems are faced daily by residents of various other complexes such as Greenwood Elements, Moonbeam Housing Complex and those near Eco Urban Village in Action Area II.
“There are a few buses that pass through the Major Arterial Road and go to the airport and Salt Lake. A few go to Esplanade as well. It would be great if we have buses connecting our area to various places in south and north Kolkata,” said Arnab Choudhury, a resident of Moonbeam.
New Town has three bus stands — New Town bus stand, the one opposite Sukhobrishti and another adjacent to Pride Hotel.
Many residents said getting a bus after 8.30pm was difficult.
Samaresh Das, of the New Town Forum and News, said it was high time the authorities started introducing more buses connecting New Town to different parts of the city.
“Transport still remains one of the key issues of this carefully planned city,” said Das.