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12 Jun 2017

Stranded tourists hail CM's move to provide free-of-cost transport to ferry them home

Stranded tourists hail CMMP | 11 Jun 2017 | Kolkata: The decision of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to provide free-of-cost transport facilities to stranded tourists in Darjeeling has immensely benefitted thousands in reaching their homes.
Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, said: "It is our responsibility to ensure safety and security of the tourists. The Chief Minister had given us the direction and we have undertaken the task to help out the tourists."
In connection with the transport facility during the bandh in the Hills, he said: "Transport has been kept out of the ambit of bandh. A state-run bus was set on fire that day. We will look into the matter if the same happens again."
It may be mentioned that soon after the situation in the Hills turned violent, a section of car owners and drivers started charging arbitrarily to ferry people to New Jalpaiguri or Siliguri.
Moreover, they were feeling insecured to travel in such cars without any police protection. The free-of-cost transport facility for the stranded passengers continued for three consecutive days on Sunday.
Sharmila Ghosh, who returned to Kolkata from Darjeeling on Sunday morning, said: "It would not have been possible for us to return home if the state government had not arranged the service."
People with a calculated amount of cash in their hands found themselves in a helpless situation and started contacting their relatives and family members in Kolkata. In such a situation, the Chief Minister's announcement came as a boon and they got back hope.
Not only this, as per the announcement of the Chief Minister, they were brought down from the Hills in buses engaged by North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC). Tata Sumos were also engaged to bring down the stranded passengers.
After ferrying passengers from the Hills, the state Transport department provided buses in which people returned to Kolkata.
In the city, special buses operated from Sealdah and Esplanade to take the tourists to different parts of the city without charging any fare from them.

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