Calcutta is the only city in India where trams still ply and are popular as a means of transport. They are so much a part of Calcutta’s history that a special horse-drawn tramcar attracted large crowds when it was run as a part of Calcutta’s tricentenary.
SM Gani, who has taken over as the Regional Director, Government of India Tourist Office, Calcutta has come up with an extremely novel and brilliant idea. He has put forward the proposal that a ‘ tramcar be fabricated with a pantry and all other infrastructure required to run as a mobile restaurant on a specified route perhaps from the Esplanade to the Birla Planetarium.’
The matter is under discussion between the Department of Tourism Government of India, West Bengal Tourism and Calcutta Tramways. The design is being considered and thought is being given to overcome the peculiar engineering problems of providing airconditioning on DC current. Among the features sought to be incorporated are big ‘sight-seeing’ windows, comfortable seating and adequate space for guests. Perhaps being the only project of its kind, it will take off quite some time for the idea to become a reality. But the matter is being progressed.
Efforts are also being made to involve some big airline or other interested parties to co- sponsor the project. One hopes that the sheer novelty of the idea will appeal to someone. It would be a tremendous opportunity for advertising. The tramcars are already a very popular advertising medium. All credit to Gani for coming up with this idea. One hopes that the day is not far when one can savour culinary delights while enjoying the view of the Victoria Memorial, gently rolling along in the tramcar restaurant.