‘No courtesy’: Mamata Banerjee, not invited for metro launch, jabs BJP

Updated on Feb 14, 2020 05:11 PM IST

The first phase of East-West corridor of the mass rapid transport network was flagged off by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the state budget 2020-21 presentation, on February 10.(Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after the state budget 2020-21 presentation, on February 10.(Samir Jana/HT Photo)
Hindustan Times, Kolkata | ByHT Correspondent

West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Friday said she “felt bad” when she was not informed about the inauguration of the East-West metro corridor, Kolkata’s second metro line.

Banerjee said that her team had to “shed tears” to sanction the project when she was the railway minister.

“We had worked hard for the East-West metro project. We had to literally shed tears for it (approval). I felt bad as I was not even informed about the inauguration. It feels bad that even for a small route they don’t have the courtesy to call me and inform,” the chief minister said in the state assembly.

The first phase of the East-West corridor of the mass rapid transport network was flagged off by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday, but the TMC gave the event a miss after Banerjee’s name did not feature in the list of invitees. Senior TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar, state Fire Services Minister Sujit Bose and Bidhanagar Municipal Corporation Chairperson Krishna Chakraborty were invited to the event but stayed away from it.

The first phase of the metro project connects a 4.88-km stretch between Sector V of Salt Lake - the IT hub of the city - with Salt Lake Stadium.

Goyal said that the entire 16.5-km stretch of the corridor - till Howrah Maidan - is likely to be completed in two years “provided bottlenecks affecting it are cleared through local support”.

Indirectly blaming Trinamool Congress government for the delay in completion of work on the East-West Metro corridor, Goyal said, “Though work on the project started in 2009, it was stalled from 2012 to 2015 on the pretext of route realignment.”

“The delay also caused cost escalation,” Goyal said, adding that 6,500 crore have so far been spent for the East-West Metro project.

The metro project, scheduled to be completed by June 2021, had faced an unprecedented jolt last year, when a tunnel-boring machine hit an aquifer in Bowbazar area of the city, causing severe ground subsidence and damage to several buildings.

The accident further delayed the completion of work by another year, with the authorities now eyeing a 2022 deadline.

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