Commuters in Kolkata, adjoining areas breathe sigh of relief as private buses resume normal services

Mamata Banerjee had on Tuesday threatened to take action under the Disaster Management Act if the buses continue to stay off the roads.

Press Trust of India July 02, 2020 17:28:16 IST
Commuters in Kolkata, adjoining areas breathe sigh of relief as private buses resume normal services

Kolkata: Transportation woes of commuters in West Bengal were mitigated to a considerable extent on Thursday with large fleets of both government and private buses hitting the streets in Kolkata and its adjoining areas, state Transport Minister Suvendu Adhikary said.

Around 1,800 government buses and 3,800 private buses are plying the Kolkata Metropolitan Area (KMA), comprising the city and its neighbouring districts, he said.

"Bus availability is absolutely normal today," the minister asserted.

Commuters in Kolkata adjoining areas breathe sigh of relief as private buses resume normal services

Representational image. PTI

Several commuters heaved a sigh of relief after normal services resumed on Thursday, with buses found waiting for passengers at many places, a departure from what has been the norm since early June as scores of people ran helter-skelter to find a vehicle to reach their destinations.

Private bus operators had been demanding a fare hike, claiming that they were facing insurmountable losses owing to high fuel prices and Covid-related curbs on passenger load

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on Tuesday threatened to take action under the Disaster Management Act if the buses continue to stay off the roads.

With only around 25 percent of private buses plying across the city and beyond till earlier this week, people were having a harrowing time commuting to their offices and back.

The absence of suburban trains and Metro Railway services, amid the Covid-induced lockdown restrictions, further added to their woes.

A section of bus operators, following a meeting with the transport secretary on Wednesday, had given assurances that more vehicles will be pressed into service from Thursday.

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