Howrah District Bus and Minibus Operators Welfare Association had approached the State transport department with a proposal to initiate the service as hundreds of people reach Howrah Station in the wee hours, but they face inconvenience to reach their destination from the station as there used to be no public transport system as such at that time.
Initially, private buses will be plying from Howrah Station to Salt Lake Sector V and Howrah Maidan to Park Street.
The buses will pass through Mahatma Gandhi Road, Sealdah Station, Rajabazar, Manicktala and Karunamayee. The buses on Howrah Maidan to Park Street route will pass via Howrah Station, Brabourne Road, BBD Bag and Esplanade. The mini-buses will operate from Howrah Station to Park Circus and Kasba.
From March 1, 12 private buses and 8 mini-buses will be plying at night.
Alapan Bandhyapadhay, Principal Secretary of the state transport department, said that the most important point of the service is that most of the buses will pass via Sealdah Station.
As a result, people from both the major stations can avail the facility. It may be mentioned that it was a nightmare for commuters to reach Howrah Station at around 3 am in long distance trains or late night local trains. The reason being the bus services usually stop at around 11 p.m. and if taxis are available the drivers charge exorbitant fare.
Moreover, there was also a question mark on the security aspects of women and businessmen travelling all alone in a taxi or a hired car after reaching Howrah Station in the wee hours. Thus, the members of the association had approached the State Transport department. Senior officials of the department contacted both Police Commissioners of Howrah and Kolkata to make them aware of the proposal of the association.
Top brass of both the police commissionerates assured all the help to make the facility available for common people. In a letter to the Transport department, the Kolkata Police have stated that the security aspects to run the buses in the wee hours will also be taken care of.
Rahul Chatterjee, general secretary of All Bengal Bus Minibus Samannay Samity said they have plans to increase the number of buses for the service at night in future.
But decision on increasing the number of buses will be taken only after the initial success of the service.
The drivers who will drive the buses at night will not be engaged in duty on the next day morning.