Kolkata’s first underwater Metro starts its trial run below bed of Hooghly

Tunnels under the bed of river Hooghly, running 32 metres below water level, are considered an engineering marvel; Metro station at Howrah too is deepest in the country; commercial services on the stretch expected to begin later this year  

April 13, 2023 04:36 am | Updated 02:57 pm IST - Kolkata

Kolkata Metro rake runs through a tunnel under the Hooghly river in Kolkata on April 12, 2023.

Kolkata Metro rake runs through a tunnel under the Hooghly river in Kolkata on April 12, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Kolkata Metro on Wednesday achieved a new milestone when a Metro rake completed a journey under the bed of river Hooghly through a tunnel 32 metres below water level.  

“P. Uday Kumar Reddy, General Manager, Metro Railway, travelled from Mahakaran to Howrah Maidan station in Rake No. MR-612 to witness this historic event. This rake crossed river Hooghly at 11:55 hrs. H.N. Jaiswal Additional General Manager, Metro Railway and MD, KMRCL [Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited] as well as other senior officers of Metro Railway and KMRCL accompanied him during this journey,” a press statement by Metro Railway, Kolkata said. General Manager Reddy offered puja at Howrah station once the Metro rake reached there, the statement added.

Describing the development as a “historic event’ Mr. Reddy informed that the trial runs from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade will be conducted for the next seven months and after that regular services on this stretch will begin. It is expected that commercial services on this stretch will begin this year. 

Two Metro rakes had been taken to Howrah Maidan station from Esplanade station, for the trial runs along the 4.8-km underground section from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade. Tunnels under the bed of river Hooghly, 32 metres below the water level, are considered an engineering marvel and are part of East West Metro Project that aims to connect Howrah Maidan with Rajarhat along the 16.6-km route. The process of laying the tunnel was completed in 2017. The underwater tunnels will connect Kolkata and Howrah with a Metro station at Howrah which will be the deepest Metro station (33 metres below surface) of the country. The Metro is expected to cover the 520-metre stretch under the river Hooghly in a span of 45 seconds.

At present about 9.1 km of the East West Metro line from Salt Lake Sector V to Sealdah is operational. Services of East West Metro Railway was started in phases with first phase in February 2020 and the latest in July 2022..

The headline of the article has been corrected for a factual error. This is the first underwater Metro in Kolkata and not India.

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