Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Shri Piyush Goyal today inaugurated and flagged off the Phase I of East West Metro corridor of Kolkata Metro connecting Salt Lake Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium and dedicated various other Railway projects to the Nation at a function in Kolkata. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Piyush Goyal said that the entire East-West corridor upto Howrah Maidan will be completed by December 2021 and expressed the hope that Kolkata Metro will become the preferred mode of transport for the people of the city. Shri Babul Supriyo, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and other dignitaries along with senior Railway officials were present on the occasion. Presently Metro services are run in Kolkata on only one North South corridor from Noapara to Kavi Subhas stations over a length of 27.3 Km. This corridor was inaugurated 36 years ago in 1984.
Shri Piyush Goyal also dedicated to the Nation 140 kms of railway electrification project in Katwa-Azimganj and Monigram-Nalhati sections of Howrah and Malda Divisions. The commissioning of 140 kms new railway electrification project at a cost of Rs. 219 Crores (approx.) covering Katwa-Azimganj and Monigram-Nalhati sections will help in ensuring seamless electric train operations on different routes of Eastern Railway and reducing diesel fuel consumption substantially. 83% route kilometres of Eastern Railway have now been electrified and the balance is in progress so as to achieve 100% electrification by 2021.
In keeping with the vision of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and in order to promote Indian Railways as an environmentally sustainable transport system, harnessing green and clean solar energy and thus minimizing carbon foot print is a mission area of Railways. Shri Piyush Goyal dedicated to the Nation 3 MW roof top solar power plant at Howrah station which has been installed without incurring any capital expenditure by Railways. It will supply electricity @ Rs. 3.62 per unit for 25 years as against the present rate of Rs. 8.50 per unit. The total cumulative revenue saving will be Rs. 40 Crores (approx.) over the next 25 years.
Shri Piyush Goyal dedicated to the Nation 41.13 Kms of double/third line over Howrah, Malda & Sealdah Divisions. Eastern Railway has commissioned double line in Nimtita-Dhulianganga (11.38 km), Sujnipara-Nimtita (6.72 km) of Malda Division, Mile 5B-New Alipore (1.67 km) of Sealdah Division, Lalbagh Court Road-Khagraghat Road (7.40 km) and Debipur-Rasulpur 3rd line (13.96 km) of Howrah Division at a cost of approx. Rs. 550 Crores. With this, throughput of the section has increased and flexibility in operation has been enhanced. The punctuality of coaching trains has been improved due to this work by about 5%.
Shri Piyush Goyal also flagged off Train No 13064 Balurghat Howrah Express through video link. The frequency of the train number 13063/64 Howrah- Balurghat- Howrah Intercity Express has been increased from bi weekly to five days a week. This train fulfills the demand of people of Dakshin Dinajpur district for better connectivity with Kolkata.
Brief: Phase I of East-West Metro
East – West Metro is a 16.5 kms long stretch which connects Howrah on the West bank of River Hooghly with Salt Lake city on the East bank. The project is being executed by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL). 10.8 kms of the stretch is underground and 5.75 kms will be on elevated viaduct. It is India’s first ever transportation project where trains will ply under the mighty river, Hooghly. This project will be immensely helpful in easing the traffic congestion of Kolkata – a 300 years old city and also in reducing vehicular pollution. Phase-I of East – West Metro which was inaugurated today is a 5.3 kms long stretch having 6 elevated stations.
Features of the Project:
· The first ever transportation tunnel under any river in India.
· Platform Screen Doors to prevent accidents or intentional fall.
· Communication Based Train Control System (CBTC) having enhanced safety features like anti- collision and automatic train control mechanism.
· Passenger friendly features like lifts, escalators, concept of barrier free movement, designated parking for differently-abled, State of the art absorptive type noise barriers provided near hospitals/schools to reduce the train generated noise for comfort of the public.
· Estimated budget for Phase- I is Rs 2431 Cr. out of the total project cost of Rs 8574.98 Cr.
· Emergency Announcement and Fire Detection Mechanism in all coaches.