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Prabhu push: Just another ticket to ride to Kolkata airport

kolkata Updated: Feb 26, 2016 18:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

East-West Metro project work will start soon at Howrah station.(Subham Jyoti/HT Photo)

Railway minister Suresh Prabhu, in his railway budget on Thursday, extended the existing 14.67 km long East-West Metro corridor by another five km. This means the East-West Metro will now have a link with the NSCBI Airport.

“The East-West Metro corridor will be extended by an additional five km,” Prabhu said in his budget speech.

Officials of the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) said that the 5.36 km long extension will be from Sector V to VIP Road at Halidram’s crossing via Central Park. The plan is to merge the East-West Corridor with the New Garia – Biman Bandar (airport) link at Halidram’s on VIP Road.

“There will be a terminal station on VIP Road where the proposed extended stretch of the East-West link and the New Garia and Biman Bandar link would merge. In all probability, the extension would take place after both the phases of the East-West Metro links get over,” a KMRCL official said.

KMRCL, initially a joint venture between the Union urban development ministry and the West Bengal government, is developing the East-West Metro project. In 2013, following a request from Mamata Banerjee, the state’s stake in the project was handed over to the Indian Railways, which runs the existing Metro services in Kolkata.

The railway minister, in his budget speech, said that the deadline for the first phase of the East-West Metro Rail is June 2018. “The work for the East West Metro project is going on in full swing. As expected, we are going to complete the first phase of the project by June 2018,” the railway minister said.

Recently, Union minister of state for urban development Babul Supriyo claimed that there are high chances that the first phase of the project, worth Rs 4,875 crore, might be launched by December 2017, six months before the deadline announced by the railway minister.

The project – which was slated to commence in 2015 - was stuck for months over rehabilitation issues of a section of residents of the Dattabad area in Salt Lake. East-West Metro project will cover a distance of 14.67 km between Sector V in Salt Lake to Howrah Maidan. The first phase of project would cover from Sector V to Sealdah.