Kolkata East-West Metro trial run in Dec

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on January 11, 2018

Metro rail work under way near Howrah railway station. Metro services will connect Kolkata to Howrah through an underwater tunnel beneath the Ganga river PTI   -  PTI

Commercial operationlikely from June ’18

Transport infrastructure engineering consultancy RITES Ltd is expected to submit a report on the proposed fares and expected passenger traffic numbers for the upcoming East-West Metro railway project here. Trial runswill begin in December.

According to Satish Kumar, Managing Director, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) – the implementing agency – the RITES study may factor in the impact of GST on the cost of construction, if any.

The ambitious project will connect the eastern part of Kolkata to the west, a 17-km stretch across the Hooghly river. To be carried out in two phases, the East-West Metro will connect the IT hub of Sector V to Howrah, Kolkata’s twin city.

“We are working on the fare structure and other details such as the passenger load. The report is expected in a month,” Kumar told BusinessLine.

Commercial operations

According to him, trial runs for the first phase of the East-West Metro project will begin in December, while commercial operations are scheduled from June 2018. The first phase, connecting a 6-km stretch from Sector V to Central Kolkata, is almost complete.

During construction, problems had cropped up along a 350-metre stretch in East Kolkata (called Duttabad), where several slum-dwellers refused to vacate. However, things have now been settled.

Phase II

The second phase — which covers 11 km and has seen a route re-alignment leading to an addition of about 2 km — is expected to begin commercial operations by December 2020.

Construction work along this stretch is also on. Work in this phase ran behind schedule as the constructions were running close to the Raj Bhavan and other heritage buildings in the Central Kolkata region.

This necessitated a route realingnment and an additional cost burden of around ₹800 crore, sources said.

Incidentally, the East-West Metro project has seen a variety of problems that has seen costs shoot up over 80 per cent to ₹9,000 crore from the proposed ₹4,990 crore.

“We have now got all the necessary permission, including from the Archaeological Survey of India,” Kumar said,

KMRCL had in February placed orders for 14 rakes (cars), each having six coaches, to State-run BEML. The rakes will start coming in by September.

Published on July 24, 2017

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