“I am really thankful to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal government for helping East-west metro to resolve the land problem at Dattabad and work has now since started in full swing,” the Minister of state for Urban Development said.
Dattabad, which falls on the first phase route alignment, was inhabited by settlers and caused work on it to stop for a long time.
“With the help of the state government, those settlers have been resettled elsewhere following which construction of a station has been possible,” he said.
Supriyo, who was criticised by CPI(M), Congress and his own party BJP for travelling with Banerjee in her car and having ‘jhal-muri’(spicy puffed rice) few months ago said it was the informal chat then which had helped in overcoming the problem there.
“The meeting was shifted from Nabanna (the new state secretariat) to the car. All the problems were sorted out although my heart bled after facing so much criticism from the left, right and centre, with pun intended, for travelling with her,” he said.
Babul Supriyo said when it came to development of the state he was ready to put political differences aside and do everything needed to sort out the problems.
Supriyo also said that The East-west metro, which is being executed by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited, is facing a huge cost overrun from Rs 4,875 crore to over Rs 8,000 crore.
The additional cost would be jointly borne by the central ministries of rail and urban development and Japanese agency JICA, he said.
The present equity sharing between the three promoters is Railway Ministry (39.80 per cent), Ministry of Urban Development (13.98 per cent) and JICA (46.22 per cent).
The proportion of equity would not alter when the three promoters chip in with more funds for the project, Supriyo said.
Regarding the first phase of the project from Salt Lake to Sealdah, measuring 9.36 km out of the total 16.5 km stretch, he said the work is expected to be completed in June 2018 but was optimistic that it might be over by December 2017.
The second phase from Sealdah to Howrah Maidan was expected to be completed by June 2019.
The Centre has agreed to bear this additional cost, he said, adding that necessary clearances from defence authorities were expected to be in place.
The entire stretch of the route would be fitted with platform screen doors at a cost of Rs 155 crore to avoid possible suicide bids.
Heavy engineering PSU BEML has been given the contract to manufacture the rolling stock.