The iconic double-decker buses which rekindle childhood memories for some are set to roll again. At a recent transport department meeting, it was decided that the state will procure 10 double-decker buses. The government will procure 10 chassis and then get the body of the vehicles fabricated separately. The technical specifications have been worked out, but routes on which the buses will ply are yet to be decided.
Last July, transport minister Subhendu Adhikari had announced that the government was mulling the reintroduction of double-decker buses as part of its plan to transform Kolkata into a modern global city. The open-roof buses will be used for tourism and the government plans to start operating them by Durga Puja. But the plan is fluid since bids cannot be invited till the elections get over. Covered double-decker buses will be used to ferry passengers.
“The government is procuring 10 double-decker buses which comply to latest provisions of the relevant Motor Vehicle Rules and latest emission standards. These will be modern buses and used for operations within the city,” said an official.
“The new buses will either be BS IV complaint, or a higher version if applicable,” an official said.
“The buses will have destination boards both inside and outside, apart from CCTV cameras, fire extinguishers and seat belts. The doors will be automatic,” he added.
Some transport experts have questioned the rationale behind purchasing open-roof buses given the weather in the city. “The weather in Kolkata is hot and humid for most part of the year. Open-roof buses can be operated for a period of three to four months a year,” said a transport expert. A transport department official, however, said they can be operated in the evening, barring days it rains.
But young Kolkata is excited at the prospect of travelling in these buses. “I have seen double-decker buses only in movies and heard stories from my elders. I am thrilled to hear that I will soon be able to travel in one,” said Samarth Sidhwani, 17.
Source: Times Of India