MALDA, 12 APRIL: On the face of stiff resistance of the local people North Bengal State Transport has decided to change its earlier decision and retain bus depot at Chanchal of North Malda. From today bus service has resumed from this depot. It may be recalled that earlier in January NBSTC decided to close this depot along with others in North Bengal to combat the recurring loss.
Accordingly all 66 workers of Chanchal depot were transferred to Malda. But soon after the decision, agitation began at Chanchal. Congress MP of North Malda Mausam Noor, MLA Asif Meheboob, RSP MLA Rahim Bakshi, Forward Block leader Tajamul Hossain joined the agitation cutting across the party line.
A citizens’ forum Chanchal Nagarik Mancha was also formed. Since 29 February they made a stage in front of the depot and began the agitation. The buses could be taken out of the depot owing to this agitation. MLAs raised the issue in the assembly while Mrs Noor met transport minister Madan Mitra to reconsider the decision of closing the Chanchal depot.
Mrs Noor said “Local sentiment on this issue must be honoured and minister had promised to reconsider the decision.” Finally yesterday Managing Director of NBSTC C Murugan said, “Only administrative works would not take place there. Otherwise buses, drivers, conductors and checking staff will be posted there as usual.”
It has been learnt that 13 buses in four routes Chanchal - Siliguri, Chanchal – Kolkata, Chanchal-Durgapur etc would ply once again. 10 drivers and 10 conductors have been posted there for the resumption of service.
It is learnt that workshop works would not start immediately here. However, the latest decision has brought cheers among the people of Chanchal. Debabrata Bhoj and Manwarul Alam of Chanchal Nagarik Mancha said, “We are happy that government has revoked its decision and depot will remain at Chanchal.”