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New look trams on Kolkata roads
With plans to introduce a new tram car in Kolkata during the Durga Puja festival it would be a treat for the eyes. The authorities are also planning to introduce some more of these refurbished trams.
THE VISUALS last evening on a TV channel of a new look tram car that is to hit the streets of Kolkata during the Durga Puja festival was a treat for the eyes. When the electrically propelled vehicle is on the way out like the famous hand pulled rickshaws, it does credit to the person who has dreamt up the project to revive the interest in this relatively silent mode of travel. The tram cars are pollution free and the only hitch is the sudden stoppage in between due to power failures. Otherwise, it scores on all other points – no rash driving, no accidents as witnessed with dangerous drivers who sit behind the steering wheels of mini buses, and no hurry.

There will be four of these modified beautiful trams that sport an international look with transparent roofs that allow one to get a glimpse of the sky and the trees and, if luck permits, watch birds as they maneuver in the limited piece of sky at their disposal. The windows are large and transparent. The cabin of the driver is also of glass with bucket seats in the compartment, two on either side of the aisle. There are overhead fans that would be more decorative pieces rather than a means to stop suffocation that happens when too many persons are squeezed into too tiny a space.

The four trams are not new as such, but refurbished ones from old models and can attain speeds of around 40 kmph. These trams would be equipped with UPS, which would allow fans and lights to run for at least 45 minutes even if there is no power supply. In addition, these would be fitted with a pair of powerful headlights and there would also be indicators to signal whether the vehicle will go left or right.

Such new look trams on the roads would be a boon to elderly persons who can sit back and relax as the vehicle inches towards its destination. However, as a report suggests, the CTC has around 250 odd trams, of which 50 per cent run on limited routes. Therefore, sighting one of these beauties and hopping on to it for a pleasure ride might be an enviable task. The authorities plan to introduce some more of these refurbished trams – hopefully, that way it would gain better visibility and Kolkattans would patronise them once again.

The only thing to be wary of is the vandalism that might result in damages to the trams by pelting of stones. This is a favoured option of a certain section of people to vent their resentment over an issue.
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