Union Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal, inaugurated and flagged off Phase-I of East-West Metro corridor of Kolkata Metro connecting Salt Lake Sector-V and Salt Lake Stadium.
Various other railway projects were also dedicated to the nation at a function in Kolkata, West Bengal.
The East-West Metro is a 16.5 km 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 the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRCL).
The estimated budget for Phase-I is Rs 2,431 crore out of the total project cost of Rs 8,574.98 crore.
This is the first-ever transportation tunnel under any river in India. Passenger-friendly features such as lifts, escalators, concept of barrier free movement, designated parking for differently-abled, state-of-the art absorptive type noise barriers are provided near hospitals/schools to reduce the train-generated noise for comfort of the public.
The entire East-West corridor up to Howrah Maidan will be completed by December 2021. At present, 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. The 10.8 km stretch is underground while 5.75 km will be on elevated viaduct.
The Railways Minister also dedicated to the nation 140 km railway electrification project in Katwa-Azimganj and Monigram-Nalhati sections of Howrah and Malda Divisions.
The railway electrification project has been completed at a cost of around Rs 219 crore. The project will help in ensuring seamless electric train operations on different routes of Eastern Railway and reducing diesel fuel consumption substantially.
Eighty-three percent km route of Eastern Railway has now been electrified and the balance is in progress to achieve 100 percent electrification by 2021.
A three MW rooftop solar power plant at Howrah station was also dedicated to the nation which has been installed without incurring any capital expenditure by the Railways.
It will supply electricity at the rate of 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 around Rs 40 crore over the next 25 years.
A 41.13 km double/third line over Howrah, Malda and Sealdah Divisions was also inaugurated. The 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 Third Line (13.96 km) of Howrah Division at an investment of about Rs 550 crore.
He also flagged off Train No 13064 Balurghat Howrah Express. This train fulfills the demand of people of Dakshin Dinajpur district for better connectivity with Kolkata.