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First phase of East-West Metro to be flagged off today

First phase of East-West Metro to be flagged off today

Kolkata: After missing several deadlines, and overcoming multiple hurdles in nearly a decade the first phase of East-West Metro is slated to see to be inaugurated on Thursday.

"Railway minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate the first phase of East-West Metro at 5 pm on February 13, 2020. Union minister Babul Supriyo, state minister for Fire and Emergency Services Sujit Bose, Lok Sabha MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and Bidhannagar Mayor Krishna Chakraborty will be present on the occasion," said Kolkata Metro Railway chief public relations officer Indrani Banerjee.

The flagging-off ceremony will be held at platform number one of Salt Lake Sector V metro station. At present, Kolkata is served by a north-south metro line stretching from Dum Dum in the northern suburb to Garia in its southern outskirts. The first phase of East-West Metro will connect the city's tech hub of Salt Lake Sector V with the Yuva Bharati Krirangan. The corridor includes Salt Lake Sector V station, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium stations.

"From conducting mock runs to making other preparations for the inaugural ceremony, we are pulling out all stops to ensure that the latest addition to the fleet of underground transport rolls out in a clock-like manner," said an official.

According to sources, the metro services will be open to the public from February 14. However, the fare structure will be Rs 5 for 0-2 km and Rs 10 for 2-5 km. The trains will run at an interval of 20 minutes. There will be 37 pairs of trains running between Salt Lake Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium.

It might be mentioned that the East-West Metro project, since its inception has faced many hurdles in the last 12 years. The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday gave its permission to restart tunnel-boring work on the damaged portion of Bowbazar, where tunnelling had been suspended after houses collapsed and hundreds of families had to be shifted, between Esplanade and Sealdah stations in central Kolkata.

The court further pointed out that the entire work will be carried out under the supervision of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT) Madras. It might be mentioned that the division bench comprising Chief Justice TBN Radhakrishnan and Justice Arijit Banerjee had in September 2019, ordered the suspension of tunnelling work.

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