A Tram Library — being pitched as “the country’s first tram library” — will be launched in Kolkata on Thursday, making this yet another wonderful addition to the city of joy. The library will be run by the West Bengal Transport Corporation that operates the country’s only functional tramways.
The tram will run from Shyambazar to Esplanade through College Street — an area that is known for its history and has some of the most renowned educational institutions in the city.
The Tram Library will have books for “onboard reading”, free Wifi connectivity, pens for all passengers in the inaugural week and regular books and library events in the coming days. There will be book launches and book reading sessions here as well. A Tram Lit Fest has also been planned in November 2020.
This is a special tram with books, magazines that can be read while traveling in the tram. Books relating to competitive examinations will also be available, officials said. “We want the tram to be seen as a wonderful choice of travel in the city, especially for the students, who can enjoy themselves by read while travelling,” said Rajanvir Singh Kapur, managing director of WBTC.
According to an official of the state transport department, since the cyclone Amphan lashed on the city in May 2020, a number of trams have been damaged along with tracks and overhead wire system. A lot of effort has been given to restore the services. Four out of the six routes that had started operating since the outbreak of COVID-19 have been opened after Amphan. On Thursday, the Shyambazar-Esplanage route will resume, making this the fifth route to re-open. Regular sanitisation of trams before and after each shift of operation, and of depots is being done regularly, officials said, encouraging people to board the trams, and especially to visit the Tram Library.
Trams first started running in Kolkata in 1873, and electric tram cars were introduced in 1902.