Replying to a question by Trinamul Congress' Subrata Bakshi in the state assembly, Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty said the pilot project envisaged widening of roads and laying of elevated tram tracks up to Joka in South 24 Parganas district. The project, if successful, would be implemented in other areas.
The Calcutta Tram Company has 319 trams in its fleet, 160 of which are operated daily. The CTC employees 8,300 workers, including casual ones.
The company's average monthly earnings stood at Rs 24.2 million against an expenditure of Rs 102.7 million, the minister said.
Chakraborty said it would not be possible to bring down the margin between income and expenditure under the present circumstances.
Stating that there were 40 to 42 workers per tram at present, the minister admitted that to make the tram services commercially viable, the figure had to be brought down to not more than 22 workers per tram.
Chakraborty said the government had earlier taken initiatives to introduce tram services in Jalpaiguri, Siliguri and Balurghat in north Bengal, besides Joka and Diamond Harbour in South 24-Parganas, but the move did not materialise owing to the prohibitive cost.
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