Kolkata Metro touched a milestone on Wednesday by running through the tunnel under the Hooghly River. The metro rake undertook its maiden journey from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade, with only officials and engineers on board.
The tunnel is the Indian version of Eurostar’s London-Paris corridor which is 13 meters below the riverbed and 33 meters below ground level. The project costs Rs 8,600 crores and will reduce the traveling chaos. The construction of this metro will replace the Hauz Khas which is currently the deepest station in India.
Terming it a historical event, Metro Railway general manager P Uday Kumar Reddy said: “Trial runs between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade station will be conducted for the next five to seven months, following which regular services on this stretch will begin.”
Here’s everything you need to know about India’s first underwater metro:
- The tunnel is the Indian version of Eurostar’s London-Paris corridor which is 13 meters below the riverbed and 33 meters below ground level.
- It reportedly has four stations- Esplanade, Mahakaran, Howrah, and Howrah Maidan, and will take 45 seconds to cross the tunnel.
- The 520-meter tunnel is part of the East-West Metro Corridor of Kolkata — from the IT hub of Salt Lake Sector V in the east to Howrah Maidan in the west across the river.
- The metro route between Howrah and Sealdah cuts down the travel time to 40 minutes against 1.5 hours by road. It will also ease congestion at both ends.
- The tunnel construction from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade faced several challenges as it passed through very congested areas along the Brabourne Road in the Burrabazar area, with several century-old houses having to shift residents to hotels during underground work there.
- The underground water seepage also caused cracks in 12 buildings at Madan Dutta Lane in Bowbazar, last year.