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Some students reach Kolkata schools on cycle

Risk of Covid on crowded buses prompts move

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 17.11.21, 07:53 AM
 Arpan Dey and (right) Krishnendu Mondal at Sanskrit Collegiate School on Tuesday.

Arpan Dey and (right) Krishnendu Mondal at Sanskrit Collegiate School on Tuesday.

Bishwarup Dutta

Some students of Sanskrit Collegiate School in central Kolkata cycled to class so they could avoid using public transport.

At least 10 students who used to avail buses, rode bicycles as parents feared using the public transport where physical distance is not maintained, could invite health hazard.

Suparna Dey, mother of Arpan Dey — a student of Class IX who stays in Bagmari on the eastern fringes of Kolkata — said, the fact that students below the age group of 18 have not yet been brought under the ambit of vaccination, make them more vulnerable.

Arpan travelled more than five kilometres on his bicycle to reach the school at College Square.

“Riding a bicycle on the busy streets during the rush hour is fraught with risks. But using a crowded bus by someone who has not received a single dose poses a greater risk. So cycle was preferred because we don’t have cars,” said Suparna, a homemaker.

Arpan said that the bus that he used to avail to reach school is more crowded now as the other one on the route has stopped plying.

The Telegraph had earlier reported that bicycles have made a comeback on the city’s streets with many preferring to pedal to work and avoid travelling on overcrowded buses amid the Covid pandemic.

“Now the same concern has impacted students,” said Debabarata Mukherjee, the headmaster of the school.

Arpan was joined by batchmate Krishnendu Mondal at Kankurgachi.

Concern over travelling by bus prompted Krishnendu parents to ask him to cycle to school. His father accompanied him.

“Attending off-line classes is a must as online classes can never be a substitute. But parents are reluctant to let me travel by bus. Since we have not yet received a single dose, it has heightened their concerns,” said Krishnendu.

Going to the school on cycle meant that he did not have to pay the bus fare which has undergone a steep hike in recent times, said Krishnendu, whose father is a security guard by profession.

“The fare that was Rs 7 even in February has now increased to Rs 15. For a regular commuter like us it means a lot,” said Krishnendu.

He said in February the bus he used to avail would be lees crowded then now because another bus plied on the same route. “But it has changed route. So the lone bus available witnesses excessive crowding,” he added.

Last updated on 17.11.21, 07:53 AM
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