Kolkata To Get India’s First Underwater Metro On Feb 14th

Travelling by metro is an experience by itself. Yes, it can get very crowded where you might find yourself stuffed like a can of sardines, but the central AC, beautiful view of the city and excitement of the metro going inside a tunnel, is quite experiential. And India is all set to take the metro experience one notch higher. Kolkata will get India’s very first underwater metro. The underwater metro will be built to pass under the beautiful Hoogly river on which the iconic Howrah Bridge. The first phase of the East-West corridor connecting Sector V with Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata will be inaugurated on 13th February 2020 at 5 pm by the Railway Minister Piyush Goyal. The inaugural run on the 4.88-km section will be flagged off by the Railway minister. Regular commercial services which connect Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium stations will start from 14th February 2020.

Picture Credits: holidify.com

What’s In It?

The East-West Metro Corridor is touted to be an engineering marvel on completion. The East-West Metro Corridor between  Sector V and Howrah Maidan stations will have elevated viaduct covering 5.8 km and an underground section of 10.8 km. The East-West Metro channel includes one part which is the underwater metro tunnel but that portion will start from 2021 and is expected to carry around 9,00,000 passengers daily which is an estimated 20% of the city’s population. The metro will take less than a minute to cross a 520m underwater tunnel. It usually takes around 320 minutes to 1 hour to cross the Howrah Bridge by ferry. But with the completion of the underwater metro, it’s expected that this time will but the time drastically.

Picture Credits: urbantransportnews.com

To put this project into action, a soft loan of ₹41.6 billion rupees from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is taken and will help fund 48.5% of the project. The Railways board will also be providing a final payment of $2.8 million to Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation as informed by the Managing Director at KMRC, Manas Sarkar. The East-West Metro corridor is currently under construction in Kolkata and its first phase will be completed on 13th February 2020.

Picture Credits: apnlive.com

Also Read: Hanging Restaurant At Biswa Bangla Gate In Kolkata Tried and Tested

What’s More?

Back in 2019, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal had given a glimpse of India’s first underwater metro in a Twitter video. Kolkata’s East-West Metro corridor will be India’s first such river crossing ever. Piyush Goyal shared the video stating the underwater train is an excellent example of engineering. He had further mentioned that the train is a symbol of the progress of the railway in the country. He also stated that the Kolkata residents would feel comfortable and India will feel proud of this project. Did you know Kolkata Is Named Safest City In India, Second Time In A Row?

This underwater tunnel would facilitate the metro to commute more than a 10 storied building below the water surface and around half a kilometer across the Hooghly river. This is India’s first rare venture, where tunnel linings have a thickness of more than a quarter of a meter. The tunnel is sealed from the water entering through a hydrophilic rubber and a gasket of neoprene. The project has been in progress since 2009, due to which the costs have doubled thanks to the delay. The Howrah and Sealdah Stations of the Indian Railways will also be present. The underwater metro will be completed at a later date reportedly by March 2022 but the first phase of the East-West Corridor with 5 stations will be completed on 13th February 2020. Well, on the completion of the underwater metro, we will have one more reason to visit the beautiful city of Kolkata. Here are 8 Things To Do In Kolkata

Sanjana Shenoy
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