Double-decker bus to be back on Cooch Behar road
The North Bengal State Transport Corporation has decided to re-introduce double-decker bus service in Cooch Behar ahead of the festive season to attract tourists to the heritage town.
“We have decided to re-introduce the only double-decker bus ahead of Durga Puja. The bus service will be conducted once a week. Any tourists or common people can enjoy the bus ride by visiting the tourists’ spots of the town,” Partha Pratim Roy, the chairman of the NBSTC, said on Thursday.
The tentative route is likely to cover Cooch Behar palace-Sagardighi-Madan Mohan Temple and Narendra Narayan Park.
The transport authority had introduced three double-decker bus services in Cooch Behar 35 years ago.
One of the buses was completely damaged in 2000. Another bus has to be scrapped in 2015.
The third remaining bus was also withdrawn from the service in 2015 because of very high maintenance cost.
Sources in the transport corporation have said the double-decker bus has a seating capacity of 90. The highest speed the bus can attain is only 30km per hour.
The NBSTC has carried out all necessary maintenance works of the bus. There are also plans to conduct a couple of trial runs.
“We will soon hold talks with the tour operators and non-governmental organisations and appeal to them to make the bus ride popular here by including it in their tour itinerary. Apart from that, we will also allow any individual or group to charter the bus for organising different events,” Sunil Agarwal, the managing director of the NBSTC, said.
The transport corporation has 969 buses and only 600 of them are operational. Its monthly expenses are around Rs 20 crore and earning is Rs 12 crore. The authority is planning to introduce around 150 buses on different routes by filling up vacant posts of driver and conductors.