The state transport department will keep a double-decker bus at Eco Park in Rajarhat for joy ride, principal secretary of state transport department Alapan Bandopadhyay said on Wednesday.
Mamata Banerjee during her visit to London had mooted the idea of reviving double- decker bus, which was an important mode of transport till 1997.
Bandopadhyay said as the manufacturers had stopped the production of double decker bus, it was difficult to re-introduce them in various routes. Double-decker buses have been withdrawn from Mumbai too. In Bangladesh, double decker buses are still there.
He said one such old bus will be refurbished and kept at Eco Park as a heritage vehicle and for joy ride. Some old buses are still plying in north Bengal, Bandopadhyay said.
The old people have fond memories of double decker bus. The longest route travelled by a double decker was L 20 that used to travel from Barrackpore to Esplanade. L 9 was another popular bus that had traveled from Gol Park to Dunlop. From Ballygunge, 2 and 2B had connected south with north Kolkata. The bus on route number 2 used to go to Bagbazar while 2B’s terminus was Paikpara. It was a pleasure to sit in front row on the first floor particularly on a long trip.
Double-decker was first introduced in Kolkata. Before, a double-decker was driven by horse. In the 1940, there were double decker without a roof. From 1990s, the manufacturers stopped producing the vehicles. The buses had six-cylinder engines which were not fuel efficient. Also, the number of vehicles in the city went up and the buses have started creating traffic jams. The state government had also discarded the buses which have been kept in different depots of Calcutta State Transport Corporation.