With local trains stopped, Kolkata’s buses are packed

City COVID-19

Bankura: The West Bengal government’s decision to restrict the movement of local trains has caused overcrowding on buses in Kolkata. 

The buses are supposed to run with 50 per cent capacity. 

Sanatan Panda, a bus conductor, said: “It is very risky for us, but we can do nothing. There was a heavy rush during office time in the morning.” 

Soon after being sworn into office a third time, Mamata Banerjee announced stricter restrictions to tame the Covid-19 surge. She declared suspension of all local trains and allowed metro and private transports to run with 50 per cent capacity since Wednesday. 

Major bus stops see thick crowds in the morning. 

Subrata Mondol, an office-goer from Barrackpore, said: “It took me two and half hours today instead of 45 minutes to reach my office at Salt Lake. I did not dare to catch overcrowded buses, so I had to leave a number of them.”

Bishal Srivastava, who works for an insurance company, travels by train every day from Chakdaha in Nadia district to different places. “I did not go out today to gauge the situation. I have no option left but to take a bus,” he said. 

However, many people do not want to risk their life by boarding overcrowded buses. Most people who have the option to not go to their workplaces are not stepping out of their homes.

Sukumar Sen, a sales executive who visits shops across Kolkata, has decided not to go to work until the local train service is restored. “What to do other than sitting at home quietly?” he said.

Apart from suspension of local trains, Banerjee announced that from now on a negative RT-PCR test report is mandatory to enter the state by train.  


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