KOLKATA: While crowds on Kolkata buses has been providing fodder to memers on social media over the last two weeks, a group of office-goers are painting a different picture of the city. They have decided to bring in self-discipline, patience and communication to circumvent the chaos plaguing public transport and avoid spreading the novel coronavirus in the ‘new normal’ era.
Office-goers, who were strangers to one another till a few days ago, have now come together to beat commute pangs by maintaining queues and waiting for their turns to board buses — a practice of discipline seldom observed in Kolkata.
“For the first few days it was chaotic. Some women and elderly people even got hurt while trying to board the bus,” said Sagarika Ghosh, a resident of Kalindi near Lake Town, who takes a Ruby-Lake Town bus every day from the Dorina crossing in Esplanade. “This continued for a few days, during which none of us could board buses despite coming here early. One day, a few of us decided that the only way to bring order was to introduce some discipline in queues.”
Passengers on several other routes have replicated the strategy. “When the situation did not improve we decided to introduce the first-come-first-served rule. Now, every evening, we form a queue in front of the Hare Street Police outpost, from where buses leave for Barrackpore,” said Kamaleswar Haldar, a Sodepur resident.
In the morning too, commuters from Lake Town, Kalindi, Bangur, Dakshindari and Sreebhumi walk to Lake Town to board 47B. “The buses can leave every few minutes, so the wait is really short,” said Prem Tibrewal who gets down at MG Road and walks to his office on Strand Road.