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AC trams will start trips at 10am on Saptami, Astami, Nabami

For nearly after a decade, trams would operate during Durga Puja and the green transport would be used for pandal-hopping, especially for foreign tourists, said state transport minister Snehasis Chakraborty on Friday, when he released his department’s Puja Parikrama.

For several years, traffic police would ask West Bengal Transport Corporation to suspend the tram operations during the puja to ensure smooth traffic on festive days. This is the 150th year of the city’s tram network, India’s only surviving green transport system. It is also Asia’s oldest eco-friendly mass transit system.

After Durga Puja received the UNESCO intangible heritage tag, the transport department realised trams—the heritage transport system of the city—went well with puja, both being Kolkata icons. But while drawing up a plan, the department realised the network had shrunk so much that trams could not reach a majority of the places.

“We will be running Esplanade-Shyambazar and the Esplanade-Gariahat-Esplanade routes. AC trams will start trips from 10 am on Saptami, Astami and Nabami,” said Chakraborty. “We are trying to revive the magic of the city with tram ride, running since 1873, weaving it with Durga Pujas,” said WBTC managing director RVS Kapur.

Mumbai to bid adieu to iconic red double-decker buses on September 15

Red double-decker buses were introduced in the city’s public transport system in 1937, and they have since become symbolic of the city itself and interestingly, have also featured in songs of Bollywood movies sin Mumbai. In the beginning of the 1990s, the BEST had a fleet of around 900 double-decker buses, but the number gradually declined after the mid-90s.

The trams will be decked up for the occasion, and beats of dhaak will be played along the journey. Passengers can travel, enjoying the sights of festivity and clicking photos from the big glass windows. A special guide will be deployed to help and guide travellers to the various pujas along the routes. “The trams will cover pujas on Kashi Bose Lane, Hati Bagan, Nalini Sarkar Street, Ekdalia, and Singhi Park. The fare will be Rs 600 per person, including for tea and snacks,” said transport secretary Saumitra Mohan. People can book their tickets online at Besides, the transport department will conduct Puja Parikrama covering Banedi Baris (aristocratic homes of Kolkata), including pujas at Badan Chandra Roy’s home, Bagbazar Haldar Bari, Belur Math, Shovabazar Rajbari, Chhatubabu-Latubabur Bari, Behala Roy Bari, Behala Sonar Durga Bari and Sabarna family house in Barisha. The tour per head will cost INR 1,900 which will include the cost of lunch, evening snacks and tea. “Besides these city trips, WBTC will also arrange for trips to Dhanyakuria-Arbalia and Kamar Pukur-Jairambati,” said Kapur.

The transport department will also run vessels on the Hooghly for leisure rides from north to south, using which travellers can visit pandals of their choice while avoiding the congested roads.

  • Published On Sep 16, 2023 at 05:01 PM IST

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