The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the revised cost of East-West Metro Corridor Project for Kolkata, Union minister Piyush Goyal said. The completion cost of the project estimated at ₹8,575 crore, Goyal added. The project is likely to be completed by December, 2021. “This will give a boost to mass transit system,” said Union minister Piyush Goyal.
The total length of the project is 16.6 km and it will consist of 12 stations. It will connect Howrah on the West bank of the river Hooghly with Salt Lake City on its east bank.
“The metro corridor will ease traffic congestion, enhance urban connectivity and provide a cleaner mobility solution to lakhs of daily commuters,” the minister added.
“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 official statement mentioned. The project will integrate multiple modes of transport like the metro, sub-urban railways, ferry and bus transport by constructing interchange hubs.
Goyal on October 4 inaugurated the Phoolbagan Station of Kolkata’s East-West Metro corridor, describing the extension of the line from Salt Lake Stadium as a “Durga Puja gift” for the people of the metropolis.Goyal also flagged off the first train from the new station to Salt Lake Sector-V, and said the entire stretch of the corridor.
Phoolbagan is the first underground station to become operational in the East West Metro corridor, which travels both below the surface and on elevated tracks, and also through underwater tunnels below River Hooghly. MG Road in the north-south main line of Kolkata Metro was the last underground station to be commissioned back in September 1995. All metro stations to become functional after that are either elevated or at grade level.
“The estimates are that this line (East West Metro corridor) will be used by nearly 10 lakh people by 2035. That itself will be a huge service to the people of Kolkata,” he said.
Goyal said though the project was sanctioned in July 2008, very little work had commenced till 2015. “There were problems of land acquisition, resettlement issues, and then the state government made us change the alignment; all of these resulted in huge delay and cost escalation,” the minister said.
Work on the East West Metro corridor was also disrupted due to an accident caused by an aquifer burst in Bowbazar area in central Kolkata during drilling operations in August 2019.
“Because of PM Modi’s focused monitoring of the project, his personal intervention and involvement, because he could realise that Kolkatans are facing difficulties due to traffic and delay of this project, he ensured availability of adequate funding and implementation of the project,” he added.