Millennium Post

Unified smart cards for conventional and East-West Metro to be introduced

There may be a unified smart card to get the service of Kolkata's conventional Metro and East-West Metro, a railway source said.

Kolkata's very own conventional Metro rail runs from New Garia to Noapara carrying thousands of passengers on a daily basis.

On the other hand, a part of the East West Metro, from Salt Lake Sector V to Phool Bagan will likely be operational in 2018.

"The conventional Metro rail has become lifeline of the city. The new East West corridor will also serve the people soon. The passengers would be benefitted if a unified smart card exists," said the source.

"There is a possibility that both of these Metro lines would intersect somewhere, where people would change from one Metro to another. The use of smart card may be useful then," the source added.

Union Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Babul Supriyo recently said that the first phase of the East-West Metro, from Salt Lake's Sector V to Phool Bagan, will likely be operational by 2018.

Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) is a central government enterprise implementing East-West Metro Corridor and has recently ordered 84 air-conditioned coaches from BEML Limited, a Bengaluru-based Public Sector Utility and the first rake is expected in December this year.

Many top rail officials recently inspected the tunnel of East-West Metro in Howrah. The General Manager of the Metro Railway, Kolkata, MC Chauhan inspected the tunnel on Sunday.

"It is expected that the tunnel under the river will be completed by June this year," Chauhan said.

It may be mentioned, the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) that have dug 200 metre under the river from the Howrah side are scheduled to reach Kolkata by end of June. The operators of the machine, who came from Johannesburg, will have to stop rolling it on Strand Road about 100 metre from the river till the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) gives its permission to dig the tunnel further. This would probably delay the project further.

"The railway is in talk with ASI over this issue," the General Manager added.
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