Home » Kolkata: East-West Metro eyes month-end date for launch of Sealdah section | Kolkata News

Kolkata: East-West Metro eyes month-end date for launch of Sealdah section | Kolkata News

Kolkata: East-West Metro eyes month-end date for launch of Sealdah section | Kolkata News


KOLKATA: Metro Railway is eyeing May 31 for commissioning of the East-West Metro‘s Sealdah section. Kolkata’s Line 2, which was started in phases in March 2020, now runs a truncated 6.6km service from Sector V to Phoolbagan. On March 24, the seventh (Sealdah) station and an added 2.3km were approved by the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS).
The CRS nod is valid for three months. If the stretch isn’t commissioned within June 24 this year, the team from the autonomous body under the civil aviation ministry that clears any new Metro project in India would have to be invited by Metro Railway all over again. Even as Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the implementing agency of the 16km East-West Metro, was preparing to open the Sealdah section around mid-April, the agencies are believed to have had a setback with the May 11 subsidence at the Durga Pituri Lane construction site.

On Monday, officials from the Railway Board and the ministry of Railways reportedly gave verbal instructions to the agencies to be prepared to start Sealdah Metro operations on May 31. Sources said railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw may be in the city on that day to launch the section while PM Narendra Modi may remotely flag it off from Delhi.
“We have been asked to be ready for a May 31 inauguration. But no formal order has come,” said a senior KMRC official. Metro Railway’s DGM Protyush Ghosh said: “We haven’t received any formal letter. But we have heard that there is a possibility of the stretch being commissioned on May 31. We are taking preparations accordingly.” The authorities expect the East-West Metro corridor, which barely has a 2,000 footfall now, will ferry at least 20,000 people to Sector V station when the seventh stop (Sealdah) is added.
Metro Railway general manager Arun Arora had told TOI on Saturday: “The 2.3km link Sealdah extension is ready for commissioning. The date will be finalized according to the schedule of VVIPs from the ministry.” KMRC director (projects) N C Karmali said: “The Sealdah commissioning is in no way linked to the incident at Bowbazar’s Durga Pithuri Lane.” Water ingress from inside the shaft, being built at Durga Pituri Lane to retrieve the tunnel borers, led to subsidence in which at least 14 houses developed cracks. Around 160 residents were evacuated.

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