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Big City Transport

Santosh Kumar Sharma

By D.K. Halder
Academic Publishers, Calcutta, 1977, Rs. 40.00

VOLUME III NUMBER 1 July/August 1978

The book is meant as a case study of different modes of transport provided by different agencies, under public and private ownership, in the Calcutta metro­politan area, and the economic and operational efficiency of these modes and agencies. The Calcutta State Transport Corporation, being the principal agency responsible for the road-based transpor­tation system, attracts special attention and forms the theme of this study in a large measure. Unlike in Bombay and Madras, private buses have been playing an important role in the overall transpor­tation system of Calcutta. The growth of private bus transport has been primarily due to the inadequacy of the nationalized transport system. The author attempts a comparative study of the economic and operational efficiency of the Corporation and that of private operators with a view to proposing measures for improvement in the Corporation’s performance and to justify the continuance of private opera­tors. Future plans for mass transportation facilities too have been dealt with. Pro­gramming models for efficient allocation of buses and illustrative application of the models have also been touched upon. The author thus seeks to present a complete monograph of the Calcutta metropolitan transport network. As a case study, the book is a useful addition to the scanty material available on the subject. The book presents useful statis­tical data pertaining to development of commuter transport in Calcutta, besides quoting extensively from various autho­rities. There are extensive quotations in Chapter 5 from the Calcutta tramways agreements and administrative reports and in Chapter 8 from the reports of various commissions of enquiry. How­ever, the lengthy quotations from the Motor Vehicles Act in Chapter 6 and from the Road Transport Act in Chapter 9 only add to the bulk of the book. At the tail end is an exhaustive bibliography of books and reports most of which seem to have little relevance to the subject of study. The printing and get-up are satisfactory but not good enough consi­dering the price of the volume. Efficient movement of people and commodities within a metropolitan area has, in recent years, assumed considerable importance. The efficiency of an urban transportation system reflects the econ­omic activity in the area and has a bearing on the quality of life. The hike in prices of petroleum products has lent urgency to improving the efficiency of public transportation systems. In this back­ground, Halder's effort to provide a basis for ...

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