Calcutta, Oct. 29: The state transport department has decided to open an office in Siliguri in keeping with the chief minister’s plans to improve transport infrastructure in north Bengal.
Sources said the office, which will be opened at the Tenzing Norgay bus stand, will initially issue permits for contract carriages such as buses across all north Bengal districts. Currently, such permits are issued by the State Transport Authority (STA) in Calcutta.
The managing director of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC) will oversee the operations of the Siliguri office, which would later be shifted to the new secretariat.
“The new office will issue permits for buses and other contract carriages in all six districts, including Malda, to ensure there is no procedural delay,” transport minister Madan Mitra said.
At a meeting on developmental projects in north Bengal on October 22, Mamata Banerjee had asked transport secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay to decentralise the operations of the department and open an office in north Bengal.
The idea, she had said, was to minimise procedural delays in providing better transport in north Bengal.
Apart from the STA, there are regional transport offices in each district, which handle licence-related matters, while the district magistrates take care of other aspects.
The transport department will also run 100 buses in north Bengal under the JNNURM scheme. Such buses ply only in Calcutta and adjoining areas.