Doubled-decker buses return to Kolkata along a planned route for Durga Puja

The city’s legendary festival is all set to attract large crowds as it’s being organised in full swing after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic

September 27, 2022 06:28 pm | Updated 08:04 pm IST - Kolkata

West Bengal Tourism Minister Babul Supriyo flagging off two double decker buses, launched by West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC) along a strategically planned route, in Kolkata, on September 27, 2022.

West Bengal Tourism Minister Babul Supriyo flagging off two double decker buses, launched by West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC) along a strategically planned route, in Kolkata, on September 27, 2022. | Photo Credit: Debasish Bhaduri

The West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation has launched two double-decker buses in Kolkata along a strategically planned route for the Durga Puja festival. The buses were flagged off on Tuesday by the State’s Tourism Minister Babul Supiyo in Kolkata.

The buses will originate at Cathedral Road, opposite Rabindra Sadan, and will travel past Victoria Memorial, Prinsep Ghat, St. Johns’ Church, and Jorasanko, to culminate at the Thakurbari gate at C.R. Avenue.

“The two buses will start from Cathedral Road from 11.00 am and 12.00 noon respectively and run continuously to and fro till 6.00 pm each day (except on Monday). The fare is a fixed ₹50 per person and it shall be valid for one complete itinerary/journey, one way. Tourists may hop in hop out at any above-designated point/location in the above-mentioned route,” a statement by WBTDC said. The buses have 12 seats on the roofless upper deck and 14 seats on the lower deck. No passenger will be allowed to stand on the buses.

Double-decker buses, which are considered a part of Kolkata’s colonial transport legacy, were introduced in the city during the 1920s and phased out in the first decade of the 21st century.  

Attempts made to reintroduce the double-decker buses as a mode of transport in the city, which has one of the lowest road areas compared to other metropolises, could not fructify. In 2020, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tried to introduce double-decker buses to boost tourism but after the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the service could not be operational. Double-decker buses have the objective of boosting tourism and highlighting Kolkata as a heritage experience.

The city’s legendary Durga Puja festival is all set to attract large crowds because it’s being organised in full swing after two years of the pandemic. The State government has provided an honorarium of ₹60,000 for each of the community Durga Pujas this year. In December 2021, UNESCO included ‘Durga Puja in Kolkata’ in its Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

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