Updated: September 18, 2020 2:06:38 pm
A senior transport department official on Thursday said the tram route connecting Shyambazar and Esplanade would be reopened in the next 10 days.
The city had six tram routes functioning before the Covid-induced lockdown, all of which were badly damaged in Cyclone Amphan in May. Services on four routes were subsequently restarted.
“Relentless efforts of the West Bengal Transport Corporation [WBTC] overhead tram department has made it possible to complete thorough runout of trolley wire between the College Street-Wellington stretch. According to the WBTC engineers, some minor work is pending. That may take another five to six days under normal circumstances. If all goes well, within a week or 10 days, the resumption of the Shyambazar-Esplanade route can happen,” said the official.
Earlier, the Tollygunge-Ballygunge, Rajabazar-Howrah Bridge, Gariahat-Esplanade, and Howrah-Shyambazar routes had been reopened.
During cyclone Amphan all the routes were damaged as the overhead wire system got damaged and trees fell on the tracks. As a result, the restart of services was delayed even though the government approved it as part of its efforts to ease lockdown restrictions in place since March.
The WBTC official said, “Of the six routes operative pre-Corona, one route was restored on June 13. The tram service in route no. 24/29 [Tollygunge–Ballygunge] was resumed from 14.6.2020 after maintaining safety protocols and social distancing norms. The timings of tram operation are from 7 am to 8 pm, and trams are operating at an interval of 25 minutes.”
He added, “Another route, Howrah Bridge to Rajabazar started in the first week of July. Now, the fifth route will start next week. We are expecting very soon we will be able to start the sixth route as well. After six routes are restored, it will be of great help for passengers because tram is a very healthy medium of transportation, and helps minimise the crowding in buses and other means of transport.”
The transport department said proper and regular disinfection and sanitisation of tram cars, before and after each shift, and depots were being done regularly.
Trams started operating in the city in 1873, and were electrified in 1900, and since 1902 electric trams have been an identifiable part of the metropolis. Recently, the WBTC installed art in some trams to depict the evolution of trams in Kolkata.
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