The tramways carnival is back in Kolkata after a gap of four years, to mark 150 years of the only operational tram system in the country. The city first saw the tram rolled out on the tracks on February 24, 1873.
Since 1996, Tramjatra has been a global collaboration of artists, tram enthusiasts, communities, and environmentalists, which is celebrated in Melbourne and Kolkata. This festival celebrates the value of trams through awareness campaigns for healthy living, cultural heritage, and sustainability.
The theme of this year’s festival is Heritage, Clean Air and Green Mobility. During this 5-day festival, colorful trams will be travelling across the city displaying artworks, including posters and paintings, with sustainable development goal themes.
As per the reports, local youths will be performing theatrical and musical acts inside moving trams, while Roberto D’ Andrea, who is a retired tram conductor from the Australian city, would be distributing specially designed Tramjatra cards to passengers. He added that coming from another ‘great tram city’ is a privilege for him to be present at the 150th anniversary of Kolkata’s tram service. He also added that they have come back with the privilege of celebrating heritage, and that they have come back with the desire to help lower the levels of air pollution.
Referring to this, Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty said that they are unable to run trams on all the routes because of flyovers and Metro Rail infrastructure. However, the government has no intention to remove trams from Kolkata, he added. They are also discussing the same with Kolkata Municipal Corporation and Kolkata Police to run trams in some of the routes without affecting traffic, he added.
Transport Minister Snehasis Chakraborty also stated that there are plans to make a heritage route surrounding the Maidan area.