State asks bus unions to submit info about number of vehicles operational in city

kolkata: State Transport department has asked bus unions to submit their bus routes and number of vehicles plying to ensure passengers are not inconvenienced due to irregular service.

The Government of West Bengal, Office of the Regional Transport Authority, Kolkata on Wednesday has written a letter to Bengal Bus Syndicate, All Bengal Bus and MiniBus Samannay Samity, City Suburban Bus Services, West Bengal Bus/ Mini Bus Owners' Association, Joint Council of Bus Syndicate and Bus/ Mini Bus Operators Co-Ordination Committee.

The letter mentioned that Bus/ Mini Bus service in all routes is not satisfactory as per fleet strength of vehicles and commuters are facing problems in the public transport system.

The bus unions have been asked to submit the group sheet (number of vehicles plying on the roads) as soon as possible.

"Only 25- 30 per cent of the private buses are plying on the streets of Kolkata. The bus services have reduced due to skyrocketing diesel prices which crossed Rs 100 mark per litre today and no bus fare hike. Government buses get subsidies. Private buses don't get subsidies to run their vehicles," said Tapan Banerjee, general secretary of Joint Council of Bus Syndicates. He reiterated that earlier before the advent of COVID-19 pandemic 6000 buses and 1200 mini buses used to ply on the streets of Kolkata.

At present, only 1500- 2000 buses and 300-400 buses are plying on the streets of Kolkata.

When asked about the date of replying to the letter from the state Transport department, Tapan said: "After conducting a meeting with bus owners, we will reply by next week."

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