(Image: Metro Railway Kolkata, via Twitter)
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal will inaugurate Phase 1 of Kolkata's East West Metro corridor connecting Sector V with Salt Lake Stadium in the city at 5 pm on February 13, officials told PTI.
Phase 1 includes a 4.88 km overground viaduct section of the much-awaited corridor. Regular commercial services will begin from February 14. Stations along the daily route are Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium.
Metro Railway, Kolkata posted photos on its Twitter account, giving sneak-peaks of the rake's interior, the viaduct and Central Park station of East West Metro.
Ahead of its completion in 2022, 16.6-km-long rapid transit system connecting the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah is touted as an engineering marvel. The corridor between Sector V and Howrah Maidan stations, in particular, includes a 5.8 km elevated viaduct and 10.8 km underground section.
In a first in the country, tunnels were bored under the Hooghly river to connect the Kolkata and Howrah. The project however suffered an unexpected hurdle last year when an aquifer burst during tunnelling work, leading to huge ground settlement and the collapse of several buildings in the Bowbazar area of central Kolkata.
While initially scheduled for completion by June 2021, the project may be delayed by a year due to the incident, a senior Kolkata Metro Rail (KMRCL) official said.
Resumption of the tunnelling work using tunnel boring machines, which had been halted since the incident on August 31 last year, got a green light from the Calcutta High Court on February 11.
Accepting a report by IIT-Madras, the court had directed the KMRCL, the executing agency for the project, to restart work between Esplanade and Sealdah stations in Bowbazar area, in consultation with the institute.
Work on 9.8 km of the 10.9-km-long underground section of the corridor has been completed and only a little more than a kilometre is remaining, the official said.
The underground section of the metro corridor passes through some of Kolkata's most-congested areas, dotted with century-old buildings, several of which are in a dilapidated condition.(With inputs from PTI)