Buses on 20 routes in north kolkata to stay off roads from Monday

Kolkata: Owners of 20 bus routes in north Kolkata and suburbs have called an indefinite strike from December 9 demanding immediate measures to help them tide over financial losses due to the closure of arterial Tallah Bridge.

The Tallah Bridge is on B T Road, on which the 20 bus routes ply.

One-and-a-half months after the closure of the Tallah Bridge, at least 20 bus routes are being forced to take a detour from B T Road through Dumdum Chiria More-Paikpara stretch which is taking a longer time and incurring operating losses for the owners, West Bengal Bus and Minibus Owners' Association Secretary Pradip Narayan Bose said.

"We provide service to the public but our interest is not being looked into despite several reminders to the transport department for fare revision or providing financial subsidy to the bus operators," Bose said.

Buses of 20 routes, including 78, 78/1, 214, 214A, 230, 234, 234/1, and 'K series' route buses to Newtown, Salt Lake, Garia will be taken off the road from Monday "till the administration wakes up", he said.

Swagata Banerjee, a commuter from Sinthi More to Park Street, said for the past two months he leaves home at least three hours before his duty hours, but is late on many days.

Movement of buses and trucks were stopped on Tallah Bridge, built during British rule, since the last week of October.

"With the collapse in road transport, I don't know what to do. Difficult times are in store for people in north Kolkata and the suburbs," Banerjee said.

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