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regular-article-logo Saturday, 13 July 2024

Survey for Santragachhi bus terminus

Some of the facilities that the government is planning to introduce include multi-tier parking, separate cubicles for maintenance and running staff, dedicated bus bays and new-age ticket counters

Kinsuk Basu Calcutta Published 06.06.24, 09:03 AM
Representational image

Representational image File image

The state government has initiated a study to identify facilities that can be made available at the Santragachhi bus terminus in Howrah where the transport department has proposed shifting long-distance buses from Esplanade.

Some of the facilities that the government is planning to introduce include multi-tier parking, separate cubicles for maintenance and running staff, dedicated bus bays and new-age ticket counters.

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A team of engineers from the Public Works Department (PWD) visited the bus terminus for a primary study of the facility. Over the next few weeks, separate teams will be visiting the spot to identify additional facilities that should be available once the long-distance buses shift from Esplanade to the Howrah terminus across the Hooghly, senior officials of the department said.

“The study would help us to draw up a detailed project report (DPR) for the Santragachi bus terminus. We hope to wrap it up very soon. The DPR will spell out the possible financial implication of this project,” said a senior PWD official.

Calcutta High Court has directed the state government to shift the bus stand from Esplanade for environmental reasons that include pollution of the Maidan and the Victoria Memorial and to prevent congestion in the heart of the city.

Senior transport department officials said the state government had decided that the bus terminus at Santragachhi would be remodelled to accommodate around 600 long-distance buses on multiple tiers.

The bus terminus at Santragachhi was built in 2015 for an estimated 10.5 crores as an alternative to the one at Esplanade, where long-distance buses of state and private operators leave and terminate. Over the years, the facility was left to wallow in neglect with rain water accumulating during the monsoons and a section of bus operators saying without adequate facilities, they won’t shift.

“The proposed terminus would now have multiple bus bays, dedicated ticket counters for different routes, washrooms and shops selling snacks and savories. The plan is to have a multi-tier bus parking facility,” a transport department official said.

Along with conducting a study, the transport department has instructed all long-distance bus drivers and conductors to ensure passengers are dropped on return journeys to Esplanade and the vehicles driven down to state-owned bus garages in the city and its adjoining areas for parking. Earlier the buses would remain parked overnight at Esplanade.

“Around 120 state buses of long-distance routes would be present at the Esplanade bus terminus at any given point in time. That has completely stopped,” said a senior transport department official.

“However, over 250 private buses remained parked throughout the day.”

Once the DPR is ready, the transport department will send it to the finance department for clearance before work is taken up at the Santragachhi bus terminus.

“We want to prepare the terminus with all the proposed facilities as early as possible. Even the drainage system will be revamped,” the official said.

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