Image Courtesy: Times Now&
- The Double Decker buses will be used for “puja parikrama” before being used for hop-on, hop-off tours in Kolkata
- The modern double-decker buses are equipped with CCTVs, panic button, route display board and will have an open roof
- West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation will maintain the buses while State Transport Department will provide staff
Kolkata: After 15 years, the iconic double-decker busses will return on the roads of Kolkata. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee flagged off two modern double-decker buses from the state secretariat today. However these buses won’t be for daily commuters, the two busses will be used for ‘Durga Puja Parikrama’ and then will be used to boost tourism in the city of joy. Just like the London tours on the open top double-deckers, West Bengal Government will also use these buses for sight-seeing tours in Kolkata in the long term.
The freshly painted blue & white double-deckers will have only one door for entry and exit and a total of 51 seats in the bus out of which 16 will be in the upper deck which will be roofless. The bus is also equipped with a destination board, CCTVs and panic button. Both the vehicles have been given clearance certificate from the Centre. The cost for the ride and the route will be decided by the State Government in due course. During this Durga puja, the double-deckers will be utilised for pandal hopping, a one of a kind experience for Kolkata.
The double-deckers were phased out in Kolkata due to the pollution and high intake of fuel. The double-decker made its last journey in 2005 in Kolkata under the CPIM Government. CM Mamata Banerjee was keen to bring back the iconic buses that still run in selective routes of Mumbai. These two buses were purchased by West Bengal Transport Corporation from Jamshedpur based BEBCO but will now be maintained by West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation as decided by the state government.