Suvendu Adhikari flags off 46 boats and 8 trams
Kolkata: State Transport Department is leaving no stone unturned to offer better services to pandal-hoppers during Durga Puja this year.
In a bid to ensure safety of daily commuters who use waterways, state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari flagged off 46 passenger-friendly Jaladhara boats and 11 large vessels on Monday evening at Millennium Park.
Chairman of West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) Rachhpal Singh, Chairman of West Bengal Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (WBTIDCL) Dinesh Bajaj and managing director of WBTC N S Nigam were also present on the occasion.
While flagging off the vessels, Suvendu said Bengal government had introduced Jaladhara scheme to provide financial assistance for converting semi-mechanised boats to mechanised ones to avert accidents.
"Jaladhara boats will run across 26 different routes. Jaladhara scheme will bring massive revolution in transport services. We always want to give better services during Durga Puja," the minister said. Jaladhara boats will have the capacity to carry 200 passengers. These vessels are also double-engined and have been built keeping in mind the standard operating procedure.
Adhikari also flagged off two fully air-conditioned single-coach trams and six non air-conditioned single-coach trams with a seating capacity of 32 people from the Esplanade Tram Control. "The Opposition is saying that our government is winding up tram services. It is not true. In a democratic country they have the right to speak their mind. In some routes, trams had stopped running due to traffic congestion. Trams are an inherent part of Kolkata's heritage and the government is in no mood to discontinue the service," said the minister.
Adhikari reiterated that the Mamata Banerjee government has not sacked any employee of Calcutta Tramways Company (now under the WBTC). He said the salaries of the employees have been increased despite the burden of loan incurred by the former government.
About 1,600 special buses will ply in and across the city during Durga Puja this year and the pre-booking of the tickets can be done via online or at WBTC depots. Passengers availing one-day puja package tickets will be able to visit all the major Pujas.
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