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Kolkata tramcar reinvents itself to offer a culinary ride

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Trams in Kolkata

Kolkata, Oct 12 : The trams in the City of Joy may not have kept up with the fast pace of the metropolis, but they refuse to quietly roll off into the sunset. A newly refurbished tramcar, designed as a fine-dining 28-seater restaurant, will trundle out from October 13, offering a culinary ride to customers.

Named “Victoria on Wheels”, the service, an innovative way to keep the tram service alive, will run from Shahid Minar to Kidderpore, offering non-vegetarian and vegetarian meals and some sightseeing on the way.

Aimed at generating revenue for the loss-making Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC), the restaurant on wheels — decked up with artwork depicting various famous tourist spots in the city — is also equipped with air-conditioning, a music system and bio-toilets to attract tourists who seek the unique experience of dining in a moving tramcar.

The Victoria, a catering chain, which has bagged the contract for 10 years through a tender, will pay Rs 1.6 lakh per month to CTC.

“We are adopting various innovative approaches to generate revenue for the tram company as our fare collection has gone down over the years,” a senior CTC official told IANS.

Patronage of the tram service, considered one of the oldest modes of public transport, has fallen drastically because of the onslaught of taxis, private buses and India’s first Metro service – and its routes have also been reduced to less than 30 from more than 50 earlier.

Once upon a time the tram service was the main mode of transport in the city, but not any more – even though the tram fare is still at the lowest at Rs 6 and Rs 7.

“From a mode of transport it has become a ‘mode of experiment’,” said J.P. Mishra, a CTC employee. Somnath Das, another employee, said though various factors have led to the tram service being curtailed, attempts are being made to continue its operation.

“Besides allowing two tramcars to become a restuarant,” Mishra said, “We also offer exclusive tram rides on popular routes during Durga Puja at special rates.”

Victorial on Wheels will make two rides each covering the lunch and dinner hours, and during Durga Puja there will be three rides in the evening.

The package offer is Rs 999 for a non-vegetarian meal and Rs 799 for vegetarian food, including a welcome drink, starters, main course and dessert during a 90-minute ride from Shahid Minar to Kidderpore and back.

(Arun Kumar Das can be contacted at [email protected])

Cities

NTPC synchronises one more unit of 3,300 MW power plant in Bihar with grid

The power producer has been setting up five units with 660 MW capacity each, spread across 3,200 acres of land at Barh in Patna district

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Power Grid Failure Nine Minutes

State-run NTPC Ltd on Sunday said it has successfully synchronised a 660-MW unit of its supercritical thermal power plant in Bihar with the grid, which would help the commercial generation of electricity from it.

The power producer has been setting up five units with 660 MW capacity each, spread across 3,200 acres of land at Barh in Patna district.

The construction work of three units of stage-I of the project was delayed due to “contractual, execution and timeline issues” with Russian firm Technoprom Export which was supposed to develop them, while two units of stage-II (2×660 MW) of Barh STPP have already been commissioned and are presently under operation, an official said.

“The first unit of 660 MW of stage -I of Barh plant was successfully synchronised with the grid at 7.32 am today. The plant has achieved desired capacity,” he said.

The construction of the Barh stage-I was initially awarded to the Russian firm but the contract was later terminated due to delay of the work schedule given by the NTPC, he said.

The successful synchronisation would pave the way for commissioning of the unit, the official said.

The remaining two units of stage-I of NTPC-Barh would be made operational by the end of March 2022, he said.

Under the synchronisation process, the 660-MW unit was connected to the grid to see the load factor and to ensure that all other aspects of it were working correctly.

Presently, Bihar is getting 1,198 MW of power from the two units of stage-II and will get additional 1,025 MW from three plants of stage-I, he said.

NTPC is supplying 4,248 MW of power to Bihar from its various plants, he added.

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To avoid overcrowding Railways to run 6 more local trains, 2 ladies special

At present 500 special suburban services are being operated by Western Railway for essential services staff

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Mumbai Local Train

In order to maintain social distancing and to avoid overcrowding, Western Railway has taken the decision to increase the number of daily special suburban services by adding 6 more services including two Ladies Special trains from Monday.

500 special suburban services were being operated by Western Railway for Essential Services Staff as notified by the Government of Maharashtra. To this, 6 more trains are being added in order to bring flexibility in transportation.

According to an official press release, the increased 6 services have been added between Virar- Churchgate sector. Out of the 6 services, 3 services will be in UP direction from Virar on Slow line and 3 services will be in the DOWN direction towards Virar on Slow line. The 2 Ladies Special services will be run during the morning and evening peak hours between Virar and Churchgate stations in both UP and DOWN directions.

It’s worth mentioning that after complete closure due to the COVID-19 lockdown since March 23, 2020, Western Railway on the request of Govt of Maharashtra had commenced the selected services of special suburban trains from June 15 on the Mumbai Suburban section. The services were gradually increased for the convenience of passengers.

The latest increase was implemented from 21st September 2020, when the total services were increased from 350 to 500 by adding 150 more services over Western Railway’s suburban section. Considering the present scenario of the pandemic, the special suburban trains are regularly sanitized & cleaned to upkeep proper hygiene.

All commuters as permitted by the Maharashtra government, are requested by Western Railway to follow social distancing norms and wear a mask while travelling in special trains.

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Cinema halls to reopen in West Bengal from October 1: Mamata Banerjee

Mamata also said musical, dance and magic shows would be permitted in the state from next month.

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pvr cinemas theater hall

New Delhi: Cinema halls and open air theatres will be allowed to operate in West Bengal from October 1 with limited number of participants, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Saturday.

She also said musical, dance and magic shows would be permitted in the state from next month.

“To return to normalcy, Jatras, Plays, OATs, Cinemas & all musical, dance, recital & magic shows shall be allowed to function with 50 participants or less from 1 Oct, subject to adherence to physical distancing norms, wearing of masks & compliance to precautionary protocols,” the chief minister said on Twitter.

Cinema halls have remained shut since the nationwide coronavirus lockdown began in late March.

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