KOLKATA: Commuters travelling to Dalhousie and Esplanade from north Kolkata and its adjacent suburbs, who have been facing severe inconvenience ever since the Tallah bridge was closed to buses and other heavy vehicles, heaved a sigh of relief on Monday. The state government set in motion a ferry service connecting Baranagar’s Kuthighat – in the city’s northern fringe – to Fairlie Place through Baghbazar from Monday. This water route is expected to reduce traffic pressure on the roads leading to Dalhousie and Esplanade from Baranagar .
Inaugurated by state transport minister Subhendu Adhikary on Monday at Kuthighat, the ferry service will initially operate at an interval of 30 minutes with three to four launch vessels. A senior West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) official said, “When in full-fledged operation, the service will have 12 launch vessels operating at the interval of 10 minutes from the two ends – Kuthighat and Fairlie Place.” WBTC will operate the ferry service.
The first ferry of the day on this route will leave Kuthighat at 7.45am for Fairlie Place via Bagbazar. The rest WBTC launch vessels on this route will leave from Kuthighat at an interval of every half-an-hour till 7.15pm. The vessels on the return route — from Fairlie Place to Kuthighat — will leave Fairlie Place at a gap of every half-an-hour from 8.15am till 7.45pm.
At present, only one launch plies around 9.25am every day from Bagbazar to Fairlie Place. This launch then proceeds to Digha with a stop at Belur Math .
“We are starting the ferry service for the convenience of locals in Baranagar and its adjoining areas. This service will also be beneficial to many commuting to Dalhousie and Esplanade from Dunlop and other distant places,” said the transport minister. He inaugurated the service with Trinamool MP Saugata Roy and MLA Taposh Ray.