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Kolkata Metro Will Commission A Length Of 25.35 Km In 2023-24 Financial Year: GM

The much-delayed completion of East West metro connectivity between Howrah Maidan and Sector V is likely by December this year, provided there is no further hiccup in a crucial 800-metre stretch at Bowbazar, which has suffered three accidents in as many years, he said.

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The Kolkata Metro Railway will commission a length of 25.35 kilometre spread over four routes in the 2023-24 financial year, its general manager Arun Arora said here on Tuesday.

The much-delayed completion of East West metro connectivity between Howrah Maidan and Sector V is likely by December this year, provided there is no further hiccup in a crucial 800-metre stretch at Bowbazar, which has suffered three accidents in as many years, he said. "The target for commissioning the 7.25 km stretch between Howrah Maidan and Sealdah of the East West Metro route is by December, 2023," Arora said at a press conference at the Metro Railway headquarters here.

Another important 9.82 km long stretch connecting Hemanta Mukherjee (Ruby crossing) and Salt Lake Sector V stations is likely to be completed by October, 2023, he said. This is part of the New Garia-Biman Bandar route, of which commercial services in the 5.5 km length between New Garia and Hemanta Mukherjee stations are expected to start soon, he said. He said that by October, 2023, the 7.04 km stretch of Noapara to Biman Bandar (NSCB International Airport) and the 1.24 km length connecting Taratala to Majerhat will also be commissioned.

Stressing that there is no question of changing the route to avoid the Bowbazar area in central Kolkata as work in the almost the entire route has been completed, he said that the Metro may commence services between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade if the tunnel joining work at the site cannot be completed by then. "If we can overcome this challenge of successfully completing work in the 800-metre stretch, the Howrah Maidan to Sealdah stretch will get connected to Sealdah by the year-end," Arora said at the press conference.

The East West metro corridor connecting Howrah Maidan and Sector V in Salt Lake is partially operational between Sector V station and Sealdah. "We will definitely get the Howrah Maidan to Esplanade stretch commissioned by December," he said. 

Arora said that work in Bowbazar, over which many buildings that are more than a century-old are located, has to be done in a very careful and cautious manner. The Metro general manager said that in case the challenge of completing construction work at Bowbazar cannot be overcome, then a bridging of the 2.5 km stretch between Esplanade and Sealdah will have to be done through some other means. He said that of this 2.5 km stretch, more than 1.5 km has been successfully constructed.

Out of the 16.6 km length of East West metro corridor, underground corridor constitutes 10.8 km between Howrah and Phoolbagan with the tunnel passing below the Hooghly river, while the rest is elevated corridor, according to the KMRC official.  On August 31, 2019, a tunnel boring machine (TBM) had hit an aquifer leading to severe ground subsidence and collapse of several buildings at Bowbazar.

Some houses were damaged again in May and thereafter in October, 2022, owing to ground subsidence caused by water seepage during work for constructing passages connecting the parallel up and down line tunnels almost at the same site.

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