Kolkata, March 13: If you have waited for a bus at a depot in Kolkata, you will agree that it isn’t really a pleasurable experience. Hot, noisy and full of smoke, the depots are a transit-hell, a test of your faith, before you are fortunate enough to board the bus that will take you anywhere, far from the depot.
Well, with new measures being implemented by authorities, it won’t be surprising if bus-passengers fall in love with the depots, and forget to board their buses! Bus depots in prime locations across Kolkata are all set to be outfitted with night shelters, electronic displays and cafeterias.
Joka, Karunamoyee, Garia, Jadavpur, Airport, Howrah and Baruipur are some of the depots the transport department is in the process of upgrading. The Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari told that 20 such depots in the districts have already been upgraded, and 70 more will be upgraded in this financial year.
The minister outlined the scope of development, saying that night shelters at strategic depots will help long-distance passengers stay back at night, and catch the first bus in the morning.
All necessary modern facilities will be there, and all existing bus-stands will be upgraded, in accordance with the modernisation of the bus transit system in the city. Watchtowers along bus-terminals and around the night shelters will increase security.
Night shelters for passengers will also come up at Purulia, Raghunathgunj, Jhalda and Malbazar, according to the minister.
Not only the depots, but the fleet is also going through an overhaul. All district headquarters will now be connected to Kolkata via Volvo buses, which will be called the Rajdhani fleet. Buses to Darjeeling, Kalimpong, Kurseong and Mirik which will operate on a regular frequency, will also be procured. Other locations that will have better connectivity include Jangalmahal and Jhargram.
The minister revealed a lot of other infrastructural developments, including the Kolkata Central Bus Terminus at Santragachi, and the construction of a right flyover by HRBC to reduce Kona Expressway’s vehicular congestion.
Additionally, the West Bengal Transport Corporation will launch 40 electric buses under a central government scheme, with ten such buses being procured exclusively for the ever-expanding New Town and Rajarhat Area.