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West Bengal transport department to launch women special buses

The buses will depart from Howrah Station towards Ballygunge, covering parts of central and south Kolkata.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 10:17 IST

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Kolkata: In a move to ensure the safety and comfort of women during office hours, the West Bengal Transport Department is set to introduce two exclusive ladies' special buses in Kolkata starting June 25, a senior state official said on Monday.

The buses will depart from Howrah Station towards Ballygunge, covering parts of central and south Kolkata, the official added.

This service is designed to assist commuters from the districts along the Howrah-Bandel line, providing a convenient connection from the terminal station to their workplaces along the route during the morning rush hours, an official statement said.

The non-AC buses, which will leave Howrah at 9.30 am and 10 am, will have women conductors. Passenger boarding will be regulated at the gates to prevent jostling and ensure that only women commuters board the buses at each stop, the official said.

The service will be inaugurated in the presence of Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty.

Bus timings have been coordinated with the arrival times of ladies special trains on the Howrah-Burdwan line of Eastern Railway and the Howrah-Kharagpur line of South-Eastern Railway in the morning.

"The term 'Ladies Special' will be prominently displayed on the route boards to deter others from boarding. Currently, we are introducing two buses, but we may consider adding more to the fleet in the future," the official added.

The department also plans to introduce similar services from Sealdah station for women commuters.

Asked about extending the Howrah-Ballygunge ladies special bus service to the afternoon rush hours from Ballygunge Station, the official said, "We are considering the proposal."

Previously, ladies special bus services were introduced in 2013 but were discontinued after some time.

"Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty are committed to continuing this service, which aligns with various women's empowerment schemes of the state and aims to enhance the safety and security of women using public transport," the official added.

Tapan Bandyopadhyay, spokesperson for the Joint Council of Bus Syndicate, welcomed the initiative, stating, "We support any such move by the state government."

Sayantani Roy, a commuter from Srirampur, expressed her relief. "I often face harassment while traveling in crowded buses to my workplace at Rasbehari Crossing. Traveling in a ladies special bus will provide much-needed respite. However, we hope these buses will also be available during the afternoon hours."

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Published 24 June 2024, 10:17 IST

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