This is not to denigrate Netaji’s clarion call. But when I saw the HSBC ad pasted on the tram’s body (picture below), it seemed to me as the most apt.
The city’s trams epitomize the disease that has for long infected Kolkata’s transport service. If anything that must go wrong in the city how excellent the planning may be, it is its transport service. The box-like private buses and mini-buses, the might-is-right state buses, the don’t-give-a-damn 3-wheeler autos, and of course the moribund trams – examples are just too many that speak of sheer callousness on part of the government.
The trams are not many that ply, and their running has no schedule except perhaps the day’s first trip at the crack of the dawn. People find the trams inconvenient not because the noise they emit when they trundle is deafening, but because in most cases the stoppage is in the middle of the road, which means one has to risk life to board or alight from them.
The HSBC ad is reflective of Kolkata’s tram service. It cannot but go only step upon step, heading into what else but a bleak stale future. That is unless the mandarins in the corridors of power can think of some innovative means of springing life into it. But, to be honest, that is too much of asking given the present state of affairs.