KOLKATA: Chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s vision of snarl-free city commute via multiple Metro links in two years seems to be matching RVNL’s deadlines. At least four sections of some crucial Metro corridors are likely to be operational within the above time frame.
Now that the Majerhat bridge construction is out of the way, Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) is trying to expedite construction of Phase 1 or the 8.5km Joka-Taratala stretch. If all goes well, the truncated stretch will commissioned by 2021 end.
Simultaneously, work is being speedily executed for Phase 2 or the 2km Taratala-Mominpur section so that commuters could use the Metro from Joka to Mominpur by December 2022. “This Metro corridor is Mamata Banerjee’s pet project. She had flagged it in July 2011 and conceived it when she was railway minister in 2009-10,” a senior RVNL official said.
The Joka-Esplanade Metro route running alongside the bridge posed a challenge for the Majerhat bridge construction, especially since the initial design of the bridge, which was made 28m wide, overlapped with the alignment Metro. Even after the issue was sorted out and bridge’s width reduced to 22m and its central line shifted to make room for the Metro station’s pillars, PWD had asked RVNL to limit construction till the pillars because the entry and exits of the Majerhat station “infringed” on the new bridge. The Metro station construction started last month with the foundation work.
Construction of the Metro four pillars adjacent the bridge started in February, this year. RVNL chose to engage SP Singla, the Haryana-based company constructing Majerhat bridge, to build the piers next to the bridge “to avoid any dispute.”
RVNL is also trying very hard to complete the truncated Ruby section of the New Garia-Airport Metro by December 2021. The 5km stretch between the terminal Kavi Subhas station and the Ruby crossing (Hemanta Mukherjee station) is currently undergoing ballast-less track laying.
Finally, and the most imminent Metro project: The 4km extension to Dakshineswar that is awaiting an inspection for the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS). The Dakshineswar Metro is likely to be operational next month.