The state Transport department has decided to run 100 more mini-buses (24-seater) in North Kolkata from Friday, for smooth movement of commuters after plying of heavy vehicles was stopped on Talla Bridge last month.
“From November 1,100 more mini buses (24-seater) will start operating from Dunlop,” said state Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari on Wednesday.
Talla Bridge, the prime gateway for vehicles entering Kolkata from North 24-Parganas, was closed for buses and mini-buses from September 25. It is also a key link between Shyambazar, Chiria More, Sinthee, Dunlop and B T Road in the city.
“The mini-buses (24-seater) will be plying on the three diverted routes. The fares will be the same. There won’t be much difficulties as other modes of transport (recently started ferry services from Kuthighat and Fairlie Place) connecting North Kolkata to Central Kolkata will be available for people,” the minister pointed out.
At present, West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) is running 28 buses (34-seater) on diverted routes. For the convenience of commuters, a map of the diverted routes will be put up at different public places.
This apart, two new auto routes between Sinthi More and Shyambazar Bata and Chiria More and Shyambazar Bata, were introduced on October 3.
A control room has also been set up at Kolkata Traffic Police Institute in Belgachia, to monitor the plying of vehicles on the diverted routes.
Meanwhile, Kolkata Metro Railway has decided to run 10 additional trains to aid commuters. More auto-rickshaws will also run on 20 different routes from R G Kar Medical College and Hospital to Dunlop.
While buses and heavy vehicles weighing over three tonnes were barred from plying over Talla Bridge just before the Durga Puja celebrations, the bridge was recently declared most vulnerable after a study of its health by RITES.
However, four-wheelers weighing below three tonnes have been allowed to ply on the bridge at a restricted speed of 10 km an hour. The health of a number of bridges and flyovers in the city is being checked by the administration after the collapse of Majerhat Bridge in 2018.