As offices resume in Kolkata, workers from suburbs face commute hurdle

As offices resume in Kolkata, workers from suburbs face commute hurdle

As offices gradually open in Kolkata, a large part of the city’s workforce commuting from suburbs are finding it difficult to reach work due to limited transport facilities.

Many workers are now cycling to reach their workplace in Kolkata, covering large distances of over 20 kilometres or more.

It may be noted that a major part of the city’s workforce comes from Howrah, Hooghly, Burdwan, North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, East Midnapore, West Midnapore and Nadia district every day.

Normally, they would travel on trains and buses before the lockdown, but since neither is available now, many workers are using bicycles to reach work. For many, it is the cheapest option as they cannot afford to book private cabs.

Sandip Agarwal, a resident of Konnagar, said, “I am riding from Konnagar...it is almost 20 kms. The buses are not operating, trains are not running and the auto is not for this distance.”

“And I cannot afford the fares charged by cabs. There is nothing at all on the streets. We are facing problems so the only way out was to ride on a bicycle to office,” he added.

Md. Ashraful, another such individual, said he is cycling almost 10 kilometres from Bally to Kolkata to reach his office.

He said, "I am coming from Bally, which is around 10 kms by road. I had to finally take a cycle home. I was waiting from the morning in the queue for an autothen went for a bus and finally, I had to ride a cycle to work. Reporting to work is important."