Once operational, the extended Metro line will connect two Kali Kshetras — Dakshineswar and Kalighat
KOLKATA: Dakshineswar Metro station, which is scheduled to be thrown open on the eve of Durga Puja, has been built keeping in mind the architectural ethos of the Dakshineswar temple town. From the Metro station, devotees can move straight to the skywalk that leads to the temple complex. The station is undergoing final touches before the trial run.
Significantly, with this extension of the north-south Metro, two major Kali Kshetras (two pilgrimage spots related to goddess Kali) — Kalighat and Dakshineswar — will come within a 15-minute distance. “People living in other cities can now cover three spiritual destinations — Kalighat, Dakshineswar and Belur Math — within one-and-a-half hour and catch a flight back. The airport is only 10km away from the Dakshineswar station,” said a Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) officer. RVNL is the executing agency of the Dakshineswar extension of New Garia-Noapara Metro corridor, better known as the north-south Metro.
The Metro station, one of the most modern stations as far as passenger amenities are concerned, will have elevators, escalators, disabled friendly tickets counters. There will be an easy passenger interface with Dakshineswar suburban railway station that runs parallel to the Metro tracks. Metro Railway has a plan to run services at a five-minute interval.
“Despite the lockdown and our struggle with Covid-19 infection, we managed to keep the workflow undisturbed. Infected people were treated and people coming in contact with them were isolated. But the work continued. So the progress, though severely hampered, has moved towards completion,” said an RVNL official. The state government also wants the project to get completed so that commuters’ woes get significantly eased in absence of Tallah Bridge.
Once ready, it will be a matter of a few minutes to travel to Dakshineswar from south Kolkata. It now takes a few hours, if traffic moves smoothly. It will be a great help for people living in northern suburbs or even in places like Dankuni in Hooghly to get easy access to the heart of the city as the Metro is well connected with the Sealdah -Dankuni suburban line, said a senior railway official.
Though conceived in 2010-11by the then Railway minister, Mamata Banerjee, the construction of the 4.2km corridor began in 2017 after long-standing land issues were resolved by an active intervention of the state government at the highest level.
Once the Noapara-Airport line, which is being constructed at a faster pace, is ready, it will be a fast-track pilgrimage by outstation devotees who toil to reach these holy places, said a Railway official. When operational, Dakshineswar Metro, which is well connected by bus transit system, ferry and suburban railway, there will be manifold increase in the passenger count, which has already touched 6.5 lakh a day.