Kolkata: The East-West Metro will run from Salt Lake Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium before Durga Puja this year, Metro General Manager Ajay Vijayvargiya said on Monday.
"Work will be completed by June, but it will take some more time to clear certain things and seek requisite permissions. We will try to start operations before Puja this year," Vijayvargiya said at a Press conference. Services to Phoolbagan will take another three months.
He further announced that the first phase of the Garia-Airport Metro from Garia to Ruby, will start by the beginning of 2019. It may be mentioned that the East West (EW) Metro authorities had earlier announced that the first phase, from Sector V to Phoolbagan, will be operational from June 2018.
According to sources in EW Metro, the ventilation system at Phoolbagan station will take some more time, along with the installation of some other infrastructure such as signalling and platform screen doors, escalators and elevators.
"Phoolbagan not having a 'crossover' for trains to switch direction, clinched the decision. If the original plan was to be followed, a train would need to travel an additional 750m to reach Sealdah, which has that facility, and return all the way without any passengers," a senior official said.
The Metro GM further made it clear that the fare for the EW Metro will be higher in comparison to that of the Metro service that runs from Kavi Subhas (Garia) to Noapara.
A senior Metro official maintained that the 43 percent slash in budget allocation to the EW Metro project will not be an area of concern, as land hurdles, that had severely crippled the project's progress in the initial years, has now been resolved.
"The project is entering the final underground stretch and we are confident of utilising the entire Rs 1,100 crore, allocated in this year's budget," the official said.