Come December, Kolkatans will again get to ride double-decker buses. These buses used to ply across the city from 60s till late in the 90s, before the Left Front government discarded them. West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) is acquiring four double-deckers for the city. Two among them will hit the streets in December.
“Our transport secretary went to London and saw how double-decker was favoured by tourists from across the globe for touring around the city. The top deck of the bus is without roof facilitating tourists to catch best glimpse of London city. We will be replicating the model in the city,” said Bengal’s transport minister Suvendu Adhikari on Monday.
However, the future of double-decker in the city will lie on people’s response to these buses. If we find many takers of these buses, including foreign tourists, we would certainly increase the number. Otherwise, the number would be restricted to four only, said a senior officer. The transport minister is not in favour of creating non-profit assets.
Earlier, government tried to acquire double-decker buses but failed because of emission issues. Ashok Leyand, which still manufactures double-deckers, could not give us bus of higher emission compliance. “Now, we have placed order with two Indian companies — one based out of Kolkata and the other in Jamshedpur,” said a senior transport department officer. Each bus will cost one crore.
Because of the flyovers, running double-decker will be an issue. This is why, we will give much thought in designing its routes.
Source: Times of India