The state government has proposed extension of the East-West Metro Railways up to Haldiram’s on VIP Road and sought intervention of the Centre in this regard.
This comes at the time when the Union Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo assured that the first phase of the project will be complete by December 2017 which is six months ahead of the scheduled dateline.
Sources in the state administration said that there is no other better alternative apart from extending the Metro service from the terminal Central Park station up to Haldiram’s to reduce the pressure on traffic on the VIP Road.
A detailed project report (DPR) for the extension has already been prepared and Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited has also cleared the DPR, sources said.
According to the plan, there will be five new Metro stations along the VIP Road – Baisakhi, Kestopur, Baguiati, Raghunathpur and Haldiram’s. The extension work of another 6.7 km up to Haldiram’s will lead to an additional cost of Rs 1347 crore.
The state government has also made it clear to the railways that the plan of the extended part of the project has been chalked in such a way that there will be no trouble with land. If railways follow the state government’s proposed plan for the extension then there is no need to acquire land.
Meanwhile, Babul Supriyo on Thursday visited the site where the terminal station of the East West metro Project is supposed to come up at Howrah Maidan. He inspected the work and later held a meeting with KMRCL officials.
He said after the meeting that the boring machine that will be used to make tunnel under river Hooghly has been brought to the project site in Howrah and the tunneling work will start by April. The tunnel under the river will of 53 metre in breadth and it will run at a depth of 26 metre from the river bed.
Around 74 per cent of the project is of the Railways and the Urban Development Ministry is giving rest of the 26 per cent. The total project cost is Rs 4,874 crore and this year Rs 930 crore has been pumped into the project.
“The progress of the work is good and it shows that the work will be completed six months ahead of the scheduled dateline,” he said adding that Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) needs around 30 months to deliver coaches.
“But he had discussion with the company and its authorities had assured the minister of delivering the coaches for the East West Metro project within 20 months that is by September or October 2017. Initially 14 coaches will be delivered for the project and the service will be operational by the end of 2017 after trail run of two to three months.
He further stated that discussions are also on to resolve the impasse as the East West Metro is supposed to pass close to the Currency Building of the Archaeological Survey of India at Dalhousie.