February 20, 2014
WB Govt to introduce 400 new buses in 19 new routes
To end the sufferings of passengers, the state transport department has decided to introduce 19 new bus routes and issue permits for around 400 new private buses in the city and its outskirts. The transport department has introduced the routes touching EM Bypass, Esplanade and Howrah station, Park Circus, Jessore Road and Kona Expressway.
The transport department had earlier carried out a survey on `route rationalization`, State Transport Minister Mr Madan Mitra said. Public Vehicles Department, Regional Transport Offices, senior officials of the transport department, the city police, transport operators and traffic engineers had carried out the survey.
Around 120 out of the 400 private buses would be air-conditioned, Mr Mitra said adding that the permits would be issued immediately. “We do not want to give it to bus syndicates who indulge in blackmail. Permits will be given to unemployed youths or those who need a source of livelihood.”
“There will be no middlemen in the process and the permits would be issued from the transport department,” Mr Mitra said. The department will begin to issue fresh permits for buses after a gap of 11 years, he added.
For those buying new buses, no guarantor or security collateral would be needed in case of a bank loan, he said. This is being done under a project named `Gatidhara` by Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee.
The new bus routes would also cover Nabanna, the new state secretariat in Howrah adjoining Kolkata, areas like Behala, Shalimar, New Barrackpore, Kasba and Alipore Zoo.
Around 70 new buses will ply in New Town, Rajarhat and Salt Lake Sector-V areas. For pilgrims, two new routes would be introduced – Dakshineshwar temple to Kalighat temple and Park Circus to Furfura Sharif in Hooghly district.
Additionally the government is also introducing new buses from the state transport corporations.
“Tender work is done and Tata and Volvo has already agreed while an agreement is expected to be reached soon from Ashok Leyland,” Mr Mitra said.