After nearly a decade, Kolkata’s famous trams are set to make your Durga Puja travel very exciting this year. It is reported that trams will be operating during Durga Puja, offering a green transportation option for pandal-hopping, especially for foreign tourists. This was informed by State Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty during the release of his department’s Puja Parikrama.
If reports are to go by, Kolkata’s traffic police had requested the suspension of tram operations to ease festive traffic in past years. This year marks the 150th anniversary of Kolkata’s tram network, which is India’s sole surviving green transport system and Asia’s oldest eco-friendly mass transit system.
The transport department decided to incorporate trams into the celebrations, recognizing the synergy between the trams and Durga Puja after it received UNESCO Intangible Heritage status. However, due to network shrinkage, trams couldn’t reach many places. The routes selected for this year include Esplanade-Shyambazar and Esplanade-Gariahat-Esplanade, with AC trams running from 10 AM on Saptami, Ashtami, and Nabami.
The trams will be decorated to exude the festive mood, and will be accompanied by the rhythmic beats of dhaak drums. Passengers will get to indulge in the festive scenery and take photos through the large glass windows. A dedicated guide will also be present to assist travelers in exploring various pujas along the routes. Reports have it that the trams will be covering pujas on Kashi Bose Lane, Nalini Sarkar Street, Hati Bagan, Singhi Park, and Ekdalia, with a fare of INR 600 per person, including tea and snacks. Tickets for the same can be booked online.
Additionally, the transport department will organize Puja Parikrama, which will take visitors to aristocratic homes of Kolkata like Badan Chandra Roy’s home, Belur Math, Bagbazar Halder Bari, Sovabazar Rajbari, Behala Roy Bari, Chhatubabu-Latubabur Bari, Behala Sonar Durga Bari, and Sabarna family house in Barisha; to avail this service, one will have to pay INR 1,900 per head. This will cover lunch, evening snacks, and tea. WBTC will also arrange trips to Dhanyakuria-Arbalia and Kamar Pukur-Jairambati.
For those seeking an alternative to congested roads, the transport department will run vessels on the Hooghly river for leisure rides from north to south, allowing travellers to visit pandals of their choice.
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