Kolkata is all set to take another trip down memory lane, thanks to the state transport department. After a gap of more than 10 to 12 years the state government has decided to bring back double decker buses in the city roads from this March.
“We have decided to ply two double decker buses on the Kolkata roads from March and initially, these two vehicles will be operated for tourists and locals who want to hire them for touring around the city. We will increase the number of such buses for commuters also if the first two generate revenue,” said Mr Narayan Swarup Nigam, state transport secretary.
The structural design of the body of the double deckers has already been finalised and the transport department has bought their chassis, Mr Nigam said. “The routes in which these two buses will be scheduled to ply will be decided soon,” he added. Double decker buses used to ply in Kolkata and adjoining Howrah town from the late 60s to the 90s when the then CPI-M-led Left Front government decided to withdraw these fleets from the city.
Before taking the move to launch these buses again in Kolkata, a team of transport department officials headed by Mr Nigam had visited London and found how doubledeckers was favoured by tourists from across the world for touring around the city. Earlier, the Trinamul Congress government had made several efforts to reintroduce double-decker buses but the move could not materialise owing to auto-emission issues.
A double-decker bus manufacturing giant in the country could not supply the vehicle owing to the issue of emission compliance during the government previous initiative, a senior official of the West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) said, requesting anonymity.