The city’s iconic trams are soon to witness a change as the state transport department is mulling over plans to gradually replace the existing fleet of double-bogie trams with customised single bogie trams following objections from the traffic police.
The city’s heritage transport system is still loved by a large section of commuters for whom it is not only a means of conveyance, but is connected to their sentiments.
As claimed by tram lovers, it is not merely a passenger carrier, but a living example of the rich history of Bengal. With the burst in population and resultant congestion in the city, the trams are, however, said to be a cause of logjams in areas with huge traffic.
As informed by officials of the transport department, similar concerns of traffic snarls due to double-bogie trams have been raised by the city’s traffic police. Considering the apprehensions of the traffic officials, the transport department has decided to gradually introduce single bogie trams.
“With double-bogie trams there have been objections from the traffic police at some places,” pointed out a senior transport official.
“We have now decided to roll out single bogie trams in phases, to decongest the areas of heavy traffic. It has been observed that running double-bogie trams in north Kolkata is leading to traffic logjams. Single-bogie trams will operate in north Kolkata so that the issue of traffic snarls can be resolved,” pointed out the official.
As part of the initiative, six single bogie trams are being manufactured at Nonapukur Tram Depot. The trams, according to the transport officials, are being tailor-made keeping in mind the commuters’ needs.
While the double-bogie trams are 57 feet long, with the two bogies each 28 feet long, the ones with single bogies are 36 feet long. Unlike the double-bogie trams that have three trucks (mechanism on which the coaches are mounted) one each at the extreme ends and at the centre, the customised trams will have two trucks and are more stable, according to the officials of CTC.
The single-bogie trams are preferable even economically. Compared cost-wise, the double-bogie non-air conditioned trams cost around Rs 30 lakhs, while the single bogie trams cost around rupees 23 lakhs.
“Out of the six trams being manufactured at Nonapukur Workshop, four have been completed and have undergone trails,” informed the official.
“The remaining two, meanwhile, are being assembled and are expected to be completed soon. All the six single-bogie non-ac trams will be rolled out before Pujas,” he added.