After missing several deadlines, the much-awaited Kolkata's East-West Metro Railway, touted to be India's first under-water train line, is now scheduled to roll out on February 13 over a 5 km route connecting the Kolkata's tech hub of Salt Lake Sector V with the Yuva Bharati Krirangan, Union Minister Babul Supriyo said on Monday.
Railway Minister Piyush Goel is set to inaugurate the second Kolkata Metro line. Presently, a north-south metro line stretches from Dum Dum in the northern suburb to Garia in its southern outskirts.
Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited is executing the 16.6 km East-West Kolkata metro project, which is technologically similar to the Eurostar (connecting Paris and London) and connects the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata.
The metro has been designed to drastically cut down travel cost and time, almost by an hour and a half.
"The reinforced concrete segmental tunnel linings have a thickness of more than a quarter of a metre and are caulked with a composite gasket of neoprene and hydrophilic rubber to seal the tunnel from ingress of water. This marvel of modern technology is a resounding first in India as well as a rare venture worldwide (sic)," says the KMRC website.
At its full stretch, the Kolkata Metro would run from Salt Lake's Sector V to Howrah Maidan. Out of the total 16.60 km, 5.8 km is an elevated corridor while 10.8 km will run underground. The 520-metre twin tunnels under the river are part of the underground stretch.
Once commissioned, people can travel more than a 10-storied building below the water surface for nearly half a kilometre across the 460 metres wide Hooghly river.
The Kolkata Metro construction progress was hindered in August due to an aquifer burst in central Kolkata during the tunnel boring work.
(Image- KMRC website)