To tackle overcrowding at ticket counters for buses and vessels en route to Gangasagar amid the surge in Covid-19 cases, the West Bengal Transport Corporation has launched a combined ticketing system for pilgrims from Wednesday.
With the new system, a pilgrim who buys a ticket will be automatically eligible to avail bus and vessel service with a return journey.
To visit Gangasagar, at present a person coming from Calcutta has to reach Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas. Later, he has to cross Muriganga river by boarding a vessel from Lot 8 to reach Kachuberia Ghat. From Kachuberia, under Sagar panchayat, the Gangasagar Mela is a 30km journey by bus on the island.
An official of the WBTC said: “The new ticket will help a person avail of the bus service up to Kakdwip and subsequently the vessel service from Lot 8.”
“We have launched four types of combined tickets that include Calcutta to Kachuberia, Howrah to Kachuberia, Lot 8 to Kachuberia and Kachuberia to Lot 8. All these tickets are automatically eligible for the return journey,” the official said.
“The new combined tickets include tickets for two bus journeys and two vessel journeys for those travelling from either Calcutta or Howrah,” the official added.
To make access to these new tickets easier, the WBTC authorities have issued these tickets for sale from South Bengal State Transport Corporation counters apart from their counters. The new tickets have also been made available online through private operator Redbus. “For online purchase, one has to use QR codes,” a WBTC official said.
District magistrate of South 24-Parganas P. Ulaganathan said the new ticketing system will help visitors and reduce the rush at ticket counters.
“At the same time, it will also save time for visitors and help us manage crowds more effectively in this Covid situation.”