Kolkata: On Thursday, the state government announced the launch of bus services in the state, including Kolkata, from July 1. Similarly, state transport minister Firhad Hakim held regular meetings with transport officials on Wednesday to keep the public transport system in the city and suburbs normal from Thursday.
After the meeting, state transport minister Firhad Hakim said, “At least 3,000 government buses will be put on the road on Thursday to keep the public transport system in the state normal. 700 government buses will run in Kolkata.” At the same time, the transport minister appealed to private bus owners’ organizations to “put more buses on the road from Thursday, keeping in mind the Covid situation.”
Although there are enough government buses as announced by the State Transport Department, there is great uncertainty about the exact number of private buses that will be on the road on Thursday.
On Wednesday, private bus and minibus owners’ organizations also petitioned the transport minister to launch a ‘Covid Special Fair’ in imitation of Kerala. According to a section of private bus owners, who did not want to be named, it would be virtually impossible to provide bus service with 50 per cent passengers without raising fares.
In this case, there will be no pressure on private bus owners to get off the road. On the other hand, the private bus owners’ organizations are not saying clearly that they will not take the bus.
Private bus owners’ organizations further said that the tires and parts of most buses and minibuses need maintenance as they have been sitting for about a month and a half. At the same time, five thousand rupees is required to start bus service. Keeping all these difficulties in mind, bus owners are backing away from the idea of putting private buses on the road from Thursday.
To reach the destination from Thursday, in fact, the city bus and suburbs will have to rely on government bus service. However, the state government has announced a holiday on July 1. As a result, it is expected that the pressure on public transport will be less.