STU Focus – North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC)

Vital Stats

  • Established – 15th April 1960
  • Area of operation – Northern districts of West Bengal
  • Fleet strength ~ 850 Nos
  • Application – City bus, Intercity and Hill operation

The North Bengal State Transport Corporation abbreviated as NBSTC was established by the Govt. of West Bengal and with the participation of the Railway Board with effect from 15th April 1960 at Coochbehar. It mainly serves the districts of northern West Bengal viz. Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri, Coochbehar, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Malda and Murshidabad. It operates Local buses, Express (Long Distance) buses, Mini buses specially for the hilly regions and Dooars, a few AC services and its well known “Rocket” service. The Rocket buses are Non AC buses and consist of 2*2 seating layout seats. These buses generally connect the capital of West Bengal, Kolkata to major townships of Northern Bengal like Siliguri, Coochbehar, Raiganj, Malda etc.

NBSTC Ashok Leyland SLF bus procured in JNNURM-2 scheme

Though it mainly runs services in West Bengal, it runs some inter-state services too connecting some places in Bihar, Assam and Jharkhand. The Corporation presently has a holding of around 850 buses consisting of Ashok Leyland, Tata Motors, Eicher, SML and Mahindra build.

NBSTC Irizar TVS built bus on Ashok Leyland Viking chassis and ACGL built bus on Tata 1512c chassis

It has 18 functional depots throughout West Bengal. Previously NBSTC used to procure chassis and would locally build bodies in West Bengal by body builders like Garrison, HKI coaches, The Indian Automobile Works, etc. Later, NBSTC started procuring Full Body Built Mini Buses and since 2012 NBSTC has been procuring only Full Body Built Vehicles.

NBSTC SML T3500 Mini Bus received under JNNURM-2 scheme

Though in the year 2016, a few buses have come up with Garrison built bodies too. Among the total fleet, NBSTC has 140 buses procured under Jnnurm 2 scheme in 2014/15. Among the 140 buses, 84 are Ashok Leyland SLF buses, 28 are Ashok Leyland Janbus Midi buses and the rest 28 are SML T3500 Mini buses.

NBSTC Rocket bus built on Ashok Leyland Viking Chassis

NBSTC procured some Trailer Double Decker buses based on Ashok Leyland Comet Tractor. Powered by AL 370 engine these buses (tractors) developed 110 hp and they are pre Bharat Stage emission era. One of them is still surviving and sometimes runs on routes or in special occasions.

The surviving Double Decker Trailer bus (Ashok Leyland Comet) of NBSTC

Ashok Leyland SLF buses were received under JNNURM-2 scheme at Malda Depot and they are operated in and around Coochbehar. In the last four years more than 350 buses have joined NBSTC. A lot of new services have been launched and some old routes have been revived. The NBSTC intends to launch “Bio-Toilet” enabled bus services soon. According to the Chairman of NBSTC, 7 Bio-toilet enabled buses are going to be launched soon which will run as “Rocket” buses and for Tourism purpose in North Bengal.

By Satayu Ghosh

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