While PM Modi is striving for a developed India, in Mamata Banerjee’s West Bengal, the tunnelling work under the Hooghly river is complete. The first of its kind underwater project in the country is to provide metro connectivity between Howrah and Kolkata.
The tunnel has been constructed by the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC) at an estimated cost of around Rs 9,000 crore. This will also serve as an important link for the 16.4 km-long mass rapid transport (MRT) project.
“India has joined a select band of nations. Another rare feat achieved by Kolkata after getting the first metro railway in the country in 1984. The KMRC team, including engineers from abroad, has completed the construction of India’s first underwater tunnel under the Hooghly river,” Satish Kumar, the MD of KMRC, said on Friday.
Kumar added that the tunnelling from the Howrah end started in the last week of April and reached the Kolkata end on June 20. These tunnels have been bored 13 meters beneath the riverbed and 30 meters from the ground. The operation of the East-West Metro Corridor in the first phase between Salt Lake and Phoolbagan in the city will start next year. The first rake, built by BEML, will arrive in December this year, Kumar said.
“Full operation, till Howrah Maidan, will probably start from 2020 and a total of 17 rakes will be deployed,” he said.
Significantly, KMRC has got all clearances which are needed to go forward with the project; the work within the city has also begun.