NEW DELHI :
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the railway ministry’s proposal to construct the Kolkata East-West Metro Corridor project at a revised cost of ₹8,575 crore. The metro project is expected to ease congestion, improve urban connectivity and offer cleaner mobility solution for daily commuters in Kolkata.
The total length of the route under the project is 16.6 km, comprising 12 stations. This will include construction of a metro corridor between Salt Lake Sector-V to Howrah Maidan in West Bengal. The project is being implemented by a special purpose vehicle Kolkata Metro Rail Corp. Ltd set up under Ministry of Railways.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal said that the project was approved 12 years ago, with an investment cost of ₹4,000 crore. However, there were delays and the project was stuck due to land acquisition and other issues. The project work started afresh in 2015, in coordination with the state and the central government.
“This project will take mass rapid transport to new heights in Kolkata and will be completed in 14-15 months,” Goyal said in a virtual briefing.
An official statement said that the pre-pandemic target for completion of their project was December, 2021. “Efforts are being taken to minimise the impact of pandemic on completion of the project. The project includes immense technological challenges like tunnel below river Ganges which is the 1st transportation tunnel in India under any major river as well as Howrah station, which is one of the deepest metro stations in India,” it said.
The train sets are being made by state-owned by BEML, giving boost to the government’s vision of a self reliant India, the minister added.
The project will create transit connectivity between business district of Kolkata with industrial city of Howrah in west and Salt Lake City in east through a safe, accessible and comfortable mode of public transport.
“Since this corridor connects three most important parts of the Kolkata Metropolitan Area i.e. Howrah, Business area of Kolkata and New Settlements in Salt Lake it is going to revolutionise the mass rapid transport in Kolkata and adjoining Howrah and Bidhanangar. This will connect important landmarks like Howrah, Sealdah, Esplanade and Salt Lake Sector-V which is an IT hub,” the statement said, adding that the project will integrate multiple modes of transport like the metro, sub-urban railways, ferry and bus transport by constructing interchange hubs.