National

Kolkata’s tram operator thinks different to beat slump

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on February 12, 2013

Old world: A tram in Kolkata (file photo).

Renting it out for wedding too on anvil

In a move to cut costs, the cash-strapped Calcutta Tramways Company Ltd (CTC) plans to introduce 12 single-bogie trams by May this year.

“We will start operating 12 single-bogie trams by May. One air-conditioned single-bogie tram is already running,” Shantilal Jain, chairman of CTC, told reporters here on Tuesday.

He was addressing a seminar on revival of the Calcutta Tramways organised by Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

According to Jain, this initiative is aimed at both reducing the operating cost and running the tram services efficiently by increasing the speed.

A State Government undertaking, CTC is currently spending Rs 250 crore a year to earn nearly Rs 50 crore as revenue from passenger fares and ad revenues (both tram and bus services). The company gets an annual subsidy of about Rs 200 crore from the State Government.

Jain said the Calcutta Tramways has also initiated discussions with the State Tourism Development Corporation to operate air-conditioned single-bogie trams.

He pointed out that CTC would reopen some viable long-distance tram routes — such as Tollygunge-Mominpur (a stretch of nearly 10 km) — across the city by mid-April.

Trams for wedding

CTC is planning to rent trams for wedding ceremonies. According to Jain, CTC will take Rs 15,000 for three hours as rental for such purposes.

“CTC earns Rs 1,500 per tram a day on an average from passenger services. So, it will viable for us to rent trams for wedding and other such occasions,” he said.

> ayan.pramanik@thehindu.co.in

Published on February 12, 2013

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