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KMRC targets Oct 2 to commence East-West Metro service from Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium

Kolkata: The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) has set a target of October 2 to commence the East-West Metro service from Salt Lake Sector V to Salt Lake stadium.
"Durga Puja is scheduled for October 15 and we are trying hard to make services from Salt Lake Sector V to Salt Lake stadium operational from October 2. Services upto Phoolbagan are likely to start from February 2019, though we have set a March 2019 target for it," Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo, who is supervising the EW Metro project, said on Monday.
According to Supriyo, the commencement of services to Phoolbagan will be taking time, as the ventilation system from Phoolbagan to Sealdah needs to be readied, before starting operation.
There will be six stations from Salt Lake Sector V to Stadium, while there will be one station from Stadium to Phoolbagan. The route from Sector V to Phoolbagan will be mostly elevated and only 0.3 km of it will be underground.
Phoolbagan needs to have a "crossover", for trains to switch direction. In the original plan, a train would need to travel an additional 750 m to reach Sealdah, which has that facility and return all the way without any passengers. "But we will now create a crossover here," a senior EW Metro official said.
"Drivers for the trains need to be trained and it will take at least six months. There are a number of sharp bends and turns and variable speed will be an important aspect in the EW Metro. Safety and security of the passengers have been given topmost priority for this project," Supriyo added.
According to sources in KMRC, the executing agency for the project, March 2020 is the target for services upto Sealdah, while June 2021 is the target for Sealdah to Howrah Maidan.
"The extension of the Metro till Santragachi is also on our radar. The state government has already given the job of preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) to RITES," the Union minister said.
The minister said that the initial budget for the project was Rs 4,875.58 crore, which has gone up to Rs 8,574.98 crore due to delay for several reasons.
He, however, extended his thankfulness to the state government for cooperating and clearing hurdles that had come in the way.

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