NBSTC to Launch Rocket Buses with Bio-Toilets Connecting North Bengal with Kolkata
North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) is introducing Premium Rocket buses with bio-toilets to ensure better connectivity at a much lesser time from different locations in North Bengal to Kolkata. As Premium Rocket buses will be on the streets soon, the decade-old simple Rocket buses will gradually phase out. In the first phase, NBSTC will introduce seven such buses. The fleet of the buses will be flagged off by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her visit to north Bengal in the next week. The two chassis air-conditioned buses will be having bio-toilets. The buses have been bought at a cost of Rs 1.98 crore. The transport corporation will be introducing seven more such buses in 2017-18 financial year. E-ticketing system and online reservation will also be introduced soon. The simple Rocket buses, introduced in the 1970s, were once known for its speed. It was the first long distance bus connecting Kolkata with North Bengal. All the buses for Malda, Balurghat and Siliguri used to leave Kolkata at 8 am every day and travel in a convoy. Despite poor road conditions, Rocket used to cover the distance within the shortest possible time. After the Trinamool Congress came to power in 2011, some of the old buses were replaced by two chassis — with more spacious buses providing more leg and elbow space to passengers. The new models, which will have bio-toilets, will be faster and more spacious. According to Subal Chandra Roy, Managing Director of NBSTC, Premium Rocket buses are better than the old ones in all aspects. Passengers will not only experience a far more comfortable journey but also reach the destination faster as conditions of the road have improved. Out of the seven buses, three will be operating between Cooch Behar and Kolkata, two from Malda to Kolkata and the remaining two will be plying between Behrampore and Cooch Behar. The buses for Kolkata from Cooch Behar will start every day at 2 pm and reach the city the next day morning. The same bus will start its return journey from Kolkata in the evening on the same day. The buses from Malda will leave at 9 pm every day. Roy further said that if everything goes as planned there will be no more old Rocket buses that the corporation will have to ply. He further said NBSTC has started with the process of introducing intelligent transport system with its control room in Siliguri for better bus service in North Bengal.