With “world-class passenger amenities and elegant interiors” the newly opened Phoolbagan Metro station is Durga Puja gift for commuters in Kolkata. Union minister Piyush Goyal unveiled the Phoolbagan metro station of Kolkata East-West Corridor earlier this month. The 16.6 km long Corridor will connect Howrah on the West bank of the river Hooghly with Salt Lake City on its east bank.
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 start of Metro services at Phoolbagan Station is a “Durga Puja gift by the Railways for Kolkatans”, the minister said. “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 added.
“The metro corridor will ease traffic congestion, enhance urban connectivity and provide a cleaner mobility solution to lakhs of daily commuters,” the minister said.
The new line is expected to take less than a minute to cross a 520-meter underwater tunnel. Depending on the time of day, it takes some 20 minutes to use the ferry and anywhere upward of an hour to cross the Howrah bridge.
“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 Union Cabinet earlier 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.