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Bus operators demand fare hike, road diversion map

Kolkata: Bus operators have demand proper route diversion map and fare hike as they claimed they are suffering losses after plying buses in South Kolkata following the collapse of Majerhat Bridge last year.

While a portion of the arterial of Majerhat Bridge in South Kolkata collapsed on September last year, the 40-year-old bridge connects the city centre to Behala and other southern suburbs.

"We urge the government to issue an official route diversion map immediately. This part, we also want fare hike because we are plying buses 10 km additionally on the unofficial route after collapse of Majerhat Bridge," said Swapan Ghosh, joint secretary of West Bengal Bus and MiniBus Owners' Association.

He reiterated that due to the extra distance each bus owner is facing difficulty. They have not earned even the fuel cost, said Swapan Ghosh, joint secretary of West Bengal Bus and MiniBus Owners' Association.

"Earlier, around 1200 buses (including 250 mini buses) used to ply on Majerhat Bridge. The fuel consumption has increased by Rs 500 on an average per day because we are running extra kilometers after the collapse of Majerhat Bridge," he said.

It might be mentioned that the state government had tried to complete the construction of Majerhat railway over-bridge within September this year, but the project got delayed due to lack of timely clearance from railways.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has also written to Union Railway minister Piyush Goyal, urging his intervention in the issuance of clearance for construction of the superstructure of Majerhat railway over-bridge (RoB).

She has written a letter to Goyal mentioning that Majerhat railway over-bridge is very important as it connects important places of South 24-Parganas, including Sagar Island, with the city.

Lakhs of pilgrims from various parts of Bengal and other neighbouring states visit Sagar Island during Ganga Sagar Mela in January. If the bridge is not completed within December this year, a huge number of devotees would be inconvenienced.

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