First phase of East-West Metro likely to be operational before Puja
Kolkata: The East-West Metro authorities are hopeful of making the first phase, from Salt Lake Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium, operational before Durga Puja. The EW metro has already received clearances from all concerned authorities, but is yet to announce dates for the inaugural run.
There will be six stations in the route that include Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium.
"We want to have everything in place so that there are no hiccups once the service kicks off. The technology that will be used is high end and the facilities will be of the best quality," said a senior official of Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL), which is executing the project.
The KMRCL has already received the nod of the Railway Board and the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) for commercial services and eight rakes from the Bengaluru-based PSU BEML have already been procured for passenger services.
The second phase will see commercial run up to Phoolbagan, which is expected to start by the end of this year. It may be mentioned that the path of the EW Metro will be over ground from Sector V till Subhas Sarovar station and then will go underground. In the entire stretch, around 520 metres of tunneling has been done underneath river Hooghly.
KMRCL is implementing the EW Metro project from Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan, covering a distance of 16.5 kilometres.
It may be mentioned that the trains on the EW route will be operated by Metro Railway, which now runs trains in the Noapara-Kavi Subhash stretch, a part of which is the country's oldest Metro service.
So, the Metro officials are being trained to adjust themselves to the latest technology of EW Metro.
The EW Metro trains run on more advanced technology, where the driver's role is minimal. The north-south section still has non-AC rakes and air-conditioned ones built by the railways-owned Integral Coach Factory in Perambore near Chennai.
"The technologies are different and so the Metro personnel are being trained to run the new system," an official said.