Kolkata: Tram, which had first hit the streets of Kolkata in the British era of 1873, will come in a new avatar. India’s first ever tram library will be launched in Kolkata on Thursday, which will traverse the Kolkata streets from Shyambazar in north to Esplanade in central Kolkata.
In a bid to attract the students and book lovers, and reignite love for the heritage transport called trams, a unique Tram Library concept has been planned. Notably, apart from Kolkata, tram services were existent in Mumbai also during British era.
The tram library will be equipped with physical books for onboard reading, free Wifi and free pens to all passengers in the inaugural week. In addition to the books, free Wifi Hotspot will be provided to passengers to read online books while traveling.
Books related to various competitive examinations like IAS, IPS, WBCS, GRE, GMAT will also be available in the tram. Apart from books, there will be a separate section for magazines. The tram has been decorated to create a library-like ambience.
“The idea is to catapult the tram as the choice mode for Kolkata students again,” said Rajanvir Singh Kapur, MD of WBTC that operates the Kolkata Tramways.
On its way from Shyambazar to Esplanade, the tram will pass the heritage book hub of College Street. College Street houses historical buildings like Presidency College where luminaries and erudite Bengalis studied and had worked. Starting from internationally famed Economist and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen to Nobel prize winner Abhijit Binayak Banerjee, had studied in Presidency College.
Calcutta University, Hare School, Sanskrit College are also on this street. It was Sanskrit College located on College Street, where Educational Reformer Vidyasagar taught and was Principal of the college later.
“There are at least thirty educational institutions on the route of the tram library, including Presidency, Scottish Church College, Bethune College, Hindu School, Hare School and the Calcutta Girls’ School,” West Bengal Transport Corporation officials said.
In future, regular book reading sessions and literary festivals will be planned on this new tram library platform. Book launches will also be planned, West Bengal Transport Corporation sources said.
Proper and regular disinfection and sanitization of the Tram cars before and after each shift of operation. After the trial run on this Shyambazar Esplanade route on September 22, the formal launch has been planned today.
The Tram routes in Kolkata also runs in Tollygunge to Ballygunge route, Rajabazar to Howrah Bridge route, Gariahat to Esplanade route and Howrah to Shyambazar route.
Incidentally, WBTC has also installed interesting artwork inside some trams which depicts how trams began in 1873 and got electrified in 1900.