Calcutta wakes up to night bus service

Buses and minibuses will ply between Howrah station and various parts of the city from 2.30am every night.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 1.03.16
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Buses and minibuses will ply between Howrah station and various parts of the city from 2.30am every night.

The night service, beginning early on Tuesday, would help people arriving at Howrah station late at night.

To begin with, a fleet of 12 buses and 8 minibuses will ferry passengers between Howrah station and Sealdah, Sector V, Karunamoyee, Kasba, Gariahat and Ballygunge Phari from 2.30am to 5am. The fares will remain unchanged and the buses and minibuses will do two round trips on every route.

A transport department official said police in Calcutta and Howrah and the public vehicles department have given the necessary clearances.

The buses will start from the Golabari police kiosk, where police would be heavily deployed to instil a sense of security among passengers, he said. "Officers in Lalbazar have promised to provide vehicles plying at night with proper security."

Transport secretary Alapan Bandyopadhayay said there had been a demand for buses at night from Howrah station. "The fleet strength is expected to go up depending on the response. Both the Howrah and Calcutta police have assured help regarding security. If the demand peaks, other parts of the city will be included."

The transport department official said complaints from passengers had been reaching Nabanna for some time that they have to either remain stranded at Howrah station or pay a bomb to taxis because of unavailability of buses.

"Many who can't afford to pay the exorbitant taxi charges are forced to spend the night on the station premises and take buses at dawn," said Nikhilesh Banerjee of the Howrah District Bus and Minibus Operators Welfare Association.

"We wanted to address this problem.... Moreover, there are places such as beyond Sealdah that are not covered by even taxi aggregators."

An officer at the Lalbazar police headquarters said traffic control rooms and kiosks at various junctions had been told to ensure safe passage of the public transport vehicles plying at night.

An officer of the traffic department of Calcutta police said women and businessmen had said they didn't feel safe travelling in taxis late at night.

"We have told bus operators not to worry about the safety and security of passengers while ferrying them in the wee hours," he said.

NIGHT ROUTES

71: Howrah to Sector V via MG Road, Sealdah, Maniktala, Hudco, Karunamoyee
C: Howrah Maidan to Park Street via Brabourne Road, Esplanade
27: Howrah to Park Circus via Moulali and CIT Road 
27A: Howrah to Kasba via Park Circus, Ballygunge, Gariahat