Kolkata: The promise of West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee in the backdrop of the state Assembly elections for modifying Kolkata on the lines of London seems to be bearing some fruits.

Air-conditioned double-decker buses would no ply on Kolkata roads for tourists visiting monumental sites in the city. The buses are being imported from China. Two Volvo buses are also being imported.

State Tourism Minister Rajpal Singh said, “These buses will be used for tourism and all those who want to visit top heritage sites and other tourist spots in the city can travel by these buses. Though general people could also travel by these buses but they will only be meant for tourism purposes.”

London too boasts of a fleet of such buses under the tourism department which are only used for visiting popular heritage sites.

Singh said these buses will run on two routes covering the northern and the southern part of city.
AC double decker buses will cover tourist spots like Kalagarh, Victoria Memorial and other tourist spots while people can visit Rabindranath Tagore’s house Jorasanko, Thakur bari, Vivekanand Bari, Shobhabazar Rajbari from the AC Volvo buses.

It is to be noted that double decker buses are not new to the City of Joy. In 1926, such buses were introduced in the city. During 1980s, 200 double decker buses were brought under the Left Front rule, but they vanished from the Kolkata roads with time.

According to the transport department, the conditions in the city are not suitable for the double decker buses.

However, the transport minister claims that the initiative is to bring back the glory of the city lost during the communist rule.

JPN/Bureau