A three-acre plot in the port area has emerged as a possible site for shifting the 11-acre bus terminus in Esplanade after most operators refused to move to a site in Howrah’s Santragachhi.
Santragachhi is about 10km from Esplanade. The proposed site in Kidderpore is around 12km from the city centre.
Around 2,000 buses on different routes — both inter- and intra-city — now use the bus terminus around Shahid Minar in Esplanade. The one that is being proposed as an alternative will be able to accommodate around 150 buses.
State government officials say the Santragachhi terminus, which was built in 2015 at a cost of Rs 10.5 crore, would emerge as a viable alternative only after a flyover is built over Kona Expressway to take buses to the terminus. That won’t be before another three years. So, if a court order on shifting the terminus is to be followed, the Kidderpore plot remains the only option.
Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court both had asked the state government to shift the bus terminus to reduce the city’s air pollution.
Located on Old Goragachha Road, off Hyde Road, the Kidderpore plot belongs to Calcutta Port Trust. The state government has paid Rs 10 crore to the port authorities for “permissive possession” of the land.
All necessary documentation for transfer of the land to the state government is complete, sources in the transport department said.
A team of representatives of Calcutta police, transport department and the Calcutta Municipal Corporation met port trust officials recently and urged them to expedite the process of handing over the land to the state government.
“Since the amount has been paid, we want possession of the plot. Now, trucks are parked there. We need to ready the land for building a bus terminus,” said an official of the Hooghly River Bridge Commissioners (HRBC), which is overseeing the search for a suitable site.
“There is a weighbridge near the entry to the plot. We have asked the CPT to shift it before giving us ‘permissive possession’ of the land,” the HRBC official said.
“Officials from the estate department of the CPT have told us they would make the arrangements.”
Source: The Telegraph