Published: June 13, 2020 5:27:29 am
To address the plight of commuters here due to unavailability of private buses, the state government will run 400 additional buses in and around the city from June 15.
The announcement came even as the deadlock over private bus owners’ demand to increase fares remained unresolved even after a meeting between state Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikari and representatives of eight private bus operators’ associations.
In a tweet, the state Home Department said, “State government is specially mobilising 400 additional buses in greater Kolkata to facilitate commuters’ movements from Monday [June 15]. Out of these, 200 will be air-conditioned, as mobilised by sundry private bus operators and permitted by the Transport Department.”
The other 200 vehicles will be non-AC buses mobilised by South Bengal State Transport Corporation (SBSTC). “These buses will connect in different routes: Howrah Station-Esplanade-BBD Bag-Sector V areas with outlying points at Garia, Behala, Barasat, Barrackpore, etc,” the home department added.
Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted, “I would urge you all to avoid overcrowding on buses, request the private sector to operate from home as much as possible and allow relaxation in reporting time. We’ve ensured no one’s marked late in government offices. Visit public places only when urgent, always wear masks & stay safe!”
On Thursday, the private bus operators’ associations informed the transport department that they would be unable to continue services if fares were not increased.
In a joint letter to the department director and the chairperson of an expert committee, the associations sought immediate intervention. At Friday’s meeting, the participants again raised the demand, and provided Adhikari details of their losses.
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