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AC trams to hit roads before summer

If you happen to be in Kolkata this summer, then you are in luck as the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) is launching its first single coach air-conditioned mobile cafeteria tram, for that special joyride.

kolkata Updated: Feb 14, 2013 15:27 IST
HT Correspondent

This summer you can enjoy a special joyride in the city in Kolkata’s heritage mode of transport. Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) is launching its first single coach air-conditioned mobile cafeteria tram.

If everything goes well then the new trams will hit city roads by April, said CTC officials. According to them, CTC got a fund of R15 lakh from the state government for launching a mobile cafeteria tram that will feature several modern facilities including LCD screen, Wi-Fi mobile charger and so forth.

“Initially we will run only one mobile cafeteria tram. If we get good response from passengers and public we might introduce a few more cafeteria trams,” said CTC chairman Shantilal Jain.

However, CTC is reportedly groaning under huge loss and irregular salary payment of its employees due to money crunch for a couple of years. In May 2012 CTC, for being the biggest loss maker mode of transport among all, got an ultimatum from chief minister Mamata Banerjee. CTC officials initiated to renovate four trams into mobile cafeterias after getting ‘either be self sufficient or get phased out’ threat from the chief minister.

Transport minister Madan Mitra even announced of launch these mobile cafeteria trams before October 2012. But according to CTC officials, “the technical difficulties delayed the project” last year. Finally the deluxe tram is being given its final touches at Nonapukur tram workshop.

“A five-ton air-conditioned machine will be set in the tram. There will be an LCD screen too where cultural programmes on Tagore songs and drama, folk music will be played constantly,” said Jain.There will be around 34 deluxe seats in the tram with attached trays. The mobile cafeteria tram will also serve cookies, chocolates and snacks to its passengers.

“There will be a snack box and refrigerator containing mineral water bottles inside the tram. Commuters have to pay separately to avail food and water,” said Jain.

The CTC officials are assuming that the fare of this mobile cafeteria tram will be around R20 and it will run at different parts of the city including BBD Bag, Gariahat, Shyambazar, Park Circus and so on. But it will not run in Kidderpore area since CTC is revamping the old trams tracks in the area.

Following chief minister’s proposal CTC launched two special trams in reverence of 150-year birth anniversary of Swami Vive kananda on Wednesdayf rom the Esplanade tram terminus.

“Two special trams namely ‘Bibek Tirtho’ and ‘Paribrajak’ were flagged off by transport Madan Mitra on Wednesday. ‘Bibek-Tirtho’, a museum tram on Swami Vivekananda will be at different parts across the city including Garihat, Howrah Bridge, Bagbazar, Esplanade and so forth for public viewing while ‘Paribrajak’ will be a passenger tram that will run from Esplanade tram terminus. Both the trams will function till April 15,” said a CTC official.