west bengal news: survey for santragachhi bus terminus

Calcutta. Calcutta: The state government has initiated a study to identify the amenities that can be provided at Howrah’s Santragachhi Bus Terminus, where the transport department has proposed to shift long-distance buses from the Esplanade. Some of the amenities to be introduced by the government include multi-tier parking, separate cubicles for maintenance and running staff, dedicated bus bays and new-age ticket counters.

A team of engineers from the Public Works Department (PWD) visited the bus terminus for a preliminary study of the facility. Senior officials of the department said that in the next few weeks, different teams will visit the spot to identify additional amenities that should be available after long-distance buses shift from the Esplanade to the Howrah terminus across the Hooghly.

“The study will help us prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the Santragachhi bus terminus. We hope to complete it very soon. The DPR will clarify the possible financial implication of this project,” a senior PWD official said. The Calcutta High Court has directed the state government to shift the bus stand from the Esplanade for environmental reasons, including pollution of the Maidan and Victoria Memorial and to prevent congestion in the heart of the city.

Senior transport department officials said the state government has decided that the bus terminus at Santragachhi will be remodelled to accommodate around 600 long-distance buses on multiple levels.

The bus terminus at Santragachhi was built at an estimated cost of ₹10.5 crore in 2015 as an alternative to the Esplanade, where long-distance buses of state and private operators originate and terminate. Over the years, the facility had been lying neglected due to accumulation of rainwater during monsoon and a section of bus operators say that without adequate amenities, they will not shift it.

“The proposed terminus will now have multiple bus bays, dedicated ticket counters for different routes, washrooms and shops selling snacks and namkeen. The plan is to build a multi-level bus parking facility,” said a transport department official. Along with conducting the study, the transport department has directed all long-distance bus drivers and conductors to ensure that passengers are dropped at the Esplanade on the return journey and the vehicles are taken to government bus garages in and around the city for parking. Earlier, buses used to be parked at the Esplanade overnight. “At any given time, around 120 government buses of long-distance routes used to be present at the Esplanade bus terminus. This has been completely stopped,” a senior transport department official said. “However, more than 250 private buses were parked throughout the day.” After the DPR is ready, the transport department will send it to the finance department for approval before starting work on the Santragachhi Bus Terminus. “We want to prepare the terminus with all the proposed facilities as soon as possible. Even the drainage system will be improved,” the official said.

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