Kolkata: Taking a major step ahead to further improve road connectivity between district headquarters and Kolkata, the state Transport department has decided to introduce "Rajdhani" Volvo bus service.
Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, said: "A step has been taken to introduce bus services to connect district headquarters with the city and it will be introduced soon."
It may be mentioned that introduction of Rajdhani Volvo bus service is going to change the complete road transport scenario of the state, as people will have to be less dependent on train service to reach Kolkata, even from North Bengal districts.
Already, there are several buses connecting districts with Kolkata, but the Volvo bus service is going to be one of its kind. Adhikari has presented the budget of his department in the state Assembly and it stands at Rs 1,588.81 crore for the financial year 2018-19. It may be stated that this is the highest budget for the Transport department so far.
Adhikari said that 300 new buses have already been introduced and steps have been taken to introduce more. At the same time, there will be two helicopter services from the current month, instead of one.
He further said that 40 electric buses will be introduced in the city soon. Another 10 electric buses in the Rajarhat-New Town area and 20 in Asansol and Durgapur, will be introduced soon.
In another major development, the state Transport department has also decided not to allow any more civic bodies to operate buses. There will be no new agreement in this connection and the buses will be operated by the transport corporations only. The step has been taken following the bus accident in Murshidabad.
Following the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, steps have been taken to develop the airport at Chharra in Purulia. The air connectivity from Cooch Behar and Malda will also be initiated soon.
Equal stress has been given to improve the water connectivity in the state. 27 vessels have already been introduced and 86 more will be engaged soon. Moreover, steps have been taken to replace the semi-mechanised vessels with robust ones, to ensure the safety of passengers.
Steps have been taken to ensure that the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is maintained at all the jetties. Life jackets similar to the ones used by Coast Guards, will also be introduced.