Fresh lockdown won’t affect transport in Kolkata

The confusion and uncertainty that prevailed over running of public transport in the city was largely dispelled in the later part of the day with urban development minister Firhad Hakim clarifying the containment zone issue would not affect the public transport system.

The confusion and uncertainty that prevailed over running of public transport in the city was largely dispelled in the later part of the day with urban development minister Firhad Hakim clarifying the containment zone issue would not affect the public transport system.

Buses are likely to ply normally, as they have so far. However, the rise of diesel price after a respite of a few days sent bus operators into a tizzy.

The bus operators, however, said they needed clarity from the transport department over the changes in route alignments. According to the government order, transportation will not be allowed in the containment zones. “But many of the zones on our routes fall in containment zones. So, we may have a very fragmented alignment to ply our buses,” said a bus operator.

Bus operators were apprehensive of the passenger count from Friday, after the enforcement of the stringent lockdown. A large part of North 24 Parganas will come under containment zones. Similarly, Budge Budge, Maheshtala, Thakurpukur-Bishnupur, Rajpur, Sonarpur and Baruipur are containment zones.

“Since the bulk of the commuters come to the city from these areas, we are expecting a sharp drop in passenger count from June 9,” said Shankar Nag, an operator of route 83.

“Mukundapur, for instance, has the termini of three routes — SD16, 24A/1 and 1. Since Mukundapur falls under the containment zone, we need to terminate our routes elsewhere,” said Tapan Bandyopadhyay, general secretary Joint Council of Bus Syndicate (JCBS). “If you talk about bus routes of the city, the majority of the routes touch upon more than one district. If one district goes out of limit, the alignment becomes dysfunctional,” he added.

“We are working with police and civic bodies. We will come clear on the possible transport scenario by tweaking some current alignments,” said a transport official.


Related Articles