The Union Cabinet on 7 October gave its approval to complete the Kolkata East-West Metro Corridor Project at the cost of Rs 8,575 crore. This will give a boost to mass transit system, said Union minister Piyush Goyal while briefing media on cabinet decisions.
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.
Goyal had on 4 October virtually 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.
He flagged off the first train from the new station to Salt Lake Sector-V, and said the entire stretch of the corridor is likely to be completed by December 2021.
Phoolbagan is the first underground station to become operational on 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.
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.
It will take only 16 minutes to cover the 6.54-km distance between Sector-V and Phoolbagan. When complete, the East-West Metro will connect both Howrah and Sealdah stations, two of Railways’ busiest stations.
The first phase of the project, a 4.88-km stretch connecting Sector-V and Salt Lake Stadium, was inaugurated by Goyal on 13 February.