The city’s quintessential transport, tram cars, is soon to have an addition to its ranks. The existing fleet which has a few heritage trams will grow by yet another route with the construction of a new line that is now underway. The Calcutta Tramways Company, (CTC), which is the custodian of the city’s trams, is coming up with a new tram route near Maidan.
“A short loop is to be constructed from Esplanade to Maidan,” informed an official of the state transport department.
“The short loop in Maidan will have new heritage tram services,” he added.
Also, considering the condition of the Kidderpore Loha Bridge, the CTC authorities might consider discontinuation of the presently operating tram services between Esplanade to Kidderpore.
“In case the existing route between Esplanade and Kidderpore gets closed, the new route till Maidan will continue to be operated,” said the official. Notably, the CTC has some more heritage trams in its fleet including ‘Balaka’ and ‘Banalata.’ A restaurant on wheels inside a tram runs between Esplanade to Kidderpore, named ‘The Victoria.’
Debasish Bhattacharya of Calcutta Tram Users Association (CUTA), however, claimed that the initiative of starting a new route for heritage trams is unlikely to bear any fruit. “There are existing heritage tram services being run by CTC. However, there are hardly any crowd in those. Starting another such route will be a wastage of around one crore rupees which is the tender amount,” claimed Mr Bhattacharya.
“The CTC, instead, should try to revive those routes which were running commercially for the regular passengers,” he added. Meanwhile, the state transport department is working on plans to roll out ten more air-conditioned trams within this year. The existing fleet, according to sources in the department, has roughly 33 new and old trams running in different routes of the city. The ten new trams being manufactured in the Nonapukur Workshop will soon trundle along the city routes.