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Business News/ News / India/  Kolkata Metro: PM Modi to inaugurate India’s first-ever underwater route tomorrow | Watch
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Kolkata Metro: PM Modi to inaugurate India’s first-ever underwater route tomorrow | Watch

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s first-ever underwater metro tunnel built in Kolkata on March 6, 2024. The metro tunnel built under the Hooghly River is part of the Kolkata Metro's East-West corridor and connects Howrah Maidan to Esplanade

Kolkata Metro: The underwater Metro is expected to cover a 520-metre stretch under the river Hooghly in just 45 seconds (Photo: ANI)Premium
Kolkata Metro: The underwater Metro is expected to cover a 520-metre stretch under the river Hooghly in just 45 seconds (Photo: ANI)

In a historic moment, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate India’s first-ever underwater metro tunnel built in Kolkata on March 6, 2024. The metro tunnel built under the Hooghly River is part of the Kolkata Metro's East-West corridor—spanning a distance of 16.6 kilometres—and connects Howrah Maidan to Esplanade.

As per the General Manager of Kolkata Metro Railway, the section is expected to see a daily ridership of 7 lakh commuters and they will be travelling 16 meters below the level of river water.

Visuals of the first-ever underwater metro train service in India

Kolkata Metro's Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section is touted to be not only the first tunnel "under any mighty river in India", but also the distinction of being the deepest in the country. This 4.8-km section, extending beneath the River Hooghly, will seamlessly connect Howrah Maidan to Esplanade, forming an integral part of the East-West Metro corridor. The underwater metro features six stations, three of which are situated underground.

Kolkata Underwater Metro: An Engineering Marvel

On the underwater metro tunnel section between Howrah Maidan-Esplanade, Uday Kumar Reddy, General Manager, Kolkata Metro Railway, said, “...We travelling about 16 metres below the level of the river water..It is a marvel. We are expecting a daily ridership of 7 lakh."

Anil Kumar Khandelwal, Member-Infrastructure, Railway Board said, "This is viksit Bharat ka viksit infrastructure...There are all safety features in this metro rail tunnel."

The underground Metro is expected to cover a 520-metre stretch under the river Hooghly in just 45 seconds. Currently, the East-West Metro corridor spans 16.6 km, with 10.8 km situated underground, including the Hooghly River tunnel. The remaining portion above ground is a testament to the integration of modern transportation with the city's existing landscape. The Majerhat Metro Station is a uniquely elevated metro station which will also include a canal.

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Along with being the deepest metro station in India, the East-West Metro station at Howrah is set to be India's largest, a Times of India report said. The report said the metro station building is equal to a 10- storey building as it could not have been any other way. To align with the 40-meter deep under-river tunnels, the station had to be excavated to a depth of 30.5 meters.

The Esplanade-Sealdah stretch of the East-West alignment is awaiting completion. The Salt Lake Sector V to Sealdah stretch of the East-West Metro corridor is commercially operational at present.  The metro works on Automatic Train Operation (ATO) system. In the ATO mode, a Metro train moves from one station to the next station automatically after a long press of 'ATO departure' push button by the motorman.

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"This is a gift from our Honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the people of Kolkata. A long-cherished dream is going to be realised with this inauguration," India Today TV quoted Kausik Mitra, Chief Public Relations Officer of Kolkata Metro Railway as saying.

Kolkata Metro is targeting June-July to start commercial operation in the entire route of East-West alignment between Salt Lake Sector V and Howrah Maidan. Kolkata Metro created history in April 2023, when its rake ran through a tunnel under a river, the Hooghly, for the first time in the country.

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Published: 05 Mar 2024, 05:33 PM IST
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