10 air-conditioned mini buses to be flagged off today
State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari will flag off a fleet of 10 air-conditioned mini buses on Monday.
Five air-conditioned mini-buses will be flagged off at gate number Adhai near Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport. MP Sougata Roy and the state IT minister Bratya Basu will also be present during the ceremony.
Another five such buses will be flagged off from the bus depot of the West Bengal Transport Corporation at Joka where, besides the Transport minister, state Education minister Partha Chattopadhyay, Mayor and Minister of the State Fire and Emergency Services Department Sovan Chatterjee and MP Subrata Bakshi will be present.
Alapan Bandyopadhyay, Principal Secretary of the Transport Department, will be present in both the programmes.
It may be mentioned that this is the first time ever in the history of the state's transport sector when such air-conditioned mini-buses are getting introduced. Five of the buses will be plying on Kolkata Airport to Esplanade route and the other five on Behala Joka to Esplanade route. Such air-conditioned buses are going to be introduced considering the fact that people need to travel in extreme heat for seven to eight months in a year.
Each of the buses with 30 seats is the first-of-its-kind in the state to have panic buttons and different electronic gadgets fitted in them for security purposes. There will be GPS system and surveillance cameras in the buses. The gadgets have been fitted to improve the security arrangement as by pressing the panic button one can alert the police or concerned authorities about any impending danger. The GPS fitted buses have ensured that the real-time location of the buses can be tracked and it can also be identified using the newly launched "Pathadisha" app of the state Transport department.
It had been a long-standing demand of Kolkatans to introduce the air-conditioned bus services up to the central business district from Joka and Airport.
With the state Transport department's decision to introduce the buses, hundreds heaved respite as they do not have to toil much in summers this year to reach their destinations.
There are many air-conditioned buses plying on different routes in the city. But this is the first time when air-conditioned mini buses are going to operate in the city. More such buses could get introduced depending on the success of these buses.