A floating library on a ferry on the Hooghly set sail on Wednesday.
Trips start from the Millennium Park jetty at 11am, 1.15pm and 3.30pm. The launch has a collection of around 500 books and facilities like free WiFi and a tuck shop.
Visitors can enjoy the river while browsing through books in the library, which has been curated by Oxford Bookstores.
The cost of a two-hour trip is Rs 50 for kids and Rs 100 for adults. “We are planning longer trips on the weekends,” said a transport department official. “We have named this the Boat Library. There will be year-long activities for children, including story-telling sessions, dramatised readings, book launches and poetry sessions on board the Boat Library,” said Rajanvir Singh Kapur, managing director of West Bengal Transport Corporation.
“The books will include several genres to cater to the interests of all age groups, particularly children.”
One launch can accommodate around 20 passengers on each trip.
“This initiative is one of our efforts to celebrate the river that has immense cultural significance for Bengal,” said Priti Paul, director of the Apeejay Surrendra Group, which is collaborating with the government for the project. “Children will be able to discover our roots and history on board this floating library.”
In September, the transport corporation launched a library on an air-conditioned tram that connects Shyambazar with Esplanade and trundles through Calcutta’s boi para on College Street.