Water transportation gets shot in the arm as Suvendu launches slew of new vessels
Kolkata: In a bid to ensure safe passage of daily commuters who use the waterways, the state Transport and Environment department launched three wooden and four steel vessels along with 40 Jaldhara boats, on Monday evening at Millennium Park.
While flagging off the vessels, state Transport and Environment minister Suvendu Adhikari said that like the Bengal government's 'Gatidhara' initiative, the 'Jaldhara' initiative will also get an impetus after the launch of such vessels.
"In different places of Bengal, country boats are used for ferrying people which are highly unsafe as there have been a number of accidents in the last few years. With the launch of the Jaldhara boats, we are trying to ensure that such accidents do not occur in the future as these are mechanised boats," Suvendu Adhikari said.
He further added: "In places like Sunderbans, Dulduli, Kalinagar and others, using water transportation is the only solution for people. So in places like those, the steel vessels which have a carrying capacity of 200 and the wooden vessels which have a capacity of 100 people each, will help the system of inland water transportation. These vessels are also double-engined and have been built keeping in mind the standard operating procedure. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has named each of these vessels."
The state Transport and Environment department has also installed the GPS system in 17 vessels for tracking their position. An automatic fare collection and passenger control system has also been flagged off on the Fairlie and Howrah jetty by the department, which allows the passengers to use smart cards and tokens, similar to the ones used in Kolkata Metro.
Adhikari also flagged off two fully air-conditioned single coach trams with a seating capacity of 32 people from the Esplanade Tram Control, along with a mobile ticketing system which allows passengers to book tickets of state transport buses for the same day through an app. It also allows the passengers to live track the position of the buses from the app.
"Trams are an inherent part of the heritage of Kolkata and the government is not removing or stopping trams. Instead, we have launched these two AC trams to provide an impetus to their future. The speed of the trams in the city cannot be increased as we have to follow the guidelines of Kolkata police," the minister said.
He also said: "The mobile ticketing system has been started for six routes for now and soon, it will be extended to many other routes."
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