PM Modi unveils multiple metro projects, including Kolkata underwater corridor

The ₹4,965-crore Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section of Kolkata Metro’s East-West Corridor, which has the first transportation tunnel ‘under any mighty river in India’, was inaugurated by PM Modi.

Updated - March 06, 2024 10:59 pm IST

Published - March 06, 2024 11:03 am IST - Kolkata

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration and foundation stone laying ceremony of various developmental projects, in Kolkata, Wednesday, March 6, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the inauguration and foundation stone laying ceremony of various developmental projects, in Kolkata, Wednesday, March 6, 2024. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 6 inaugurated the Kolkata Metro's Esplanade-Howrah Maidan section, which passes below the mighty Hooghly river through the country's first underwater transportation tunnel.

He also took a ride on a metro train from Esplanade to Howrah Maidan and interacted with school students during the journey passing through the tunnel, which is a testament to the country's engineering capabilities.

He returned to the Esplanade station via the same route, and was accompanied by the Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Suvendu Adhikari during the trip.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee did not attend the programme.

The 4.8-km Esplanade-Howrah Maidan stretch, a part of the east-west corridor, has been built at a cost of ₹4,960 crore, officials said.

Mr. Modi also inaugurated the 1.25-km-long Taratala-Majherhat section of the Joka-Esplanade line, built at an estimated cost of ₹520 crore.

The ₹1,430-crore Kavi Subhash-Hemanta Mukhopadhyay section of the New Garia-airport line was also inaugurated from the function at the Esplanade Metro Station.

The Kavi Subhash-Hemanta Mukhopadhyay stretch, which is 5.4 km long, will bring areas in the south-eastern parts of Kolkata on the metro map, officials said.

These sections will help decongest road traffic and provide seamless, easy and comfortable connectivity, a statement said.

The Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section of the east-west corridor has the first transportation tunnel under "any mighty river in India". It passes under the Hooghly river, on the east and west banks of which Kolkata and Howrah are situated.

The stretch also has the deepest metro station in the country, the Howrah Metro Station, at 32 metres below the ground.

The east-west metro corridor, the construction for which commenced on April 14, 2009, has suffered several delays owing to various issues, including accidents at Bowbazar in central Kolkata.

The stretch between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade is the second section of the corridor in which commercial operations will begin. With this, only the Esplanade-Sealdah stretch of the line is left to be completed.

Metro Railway General Manager P. Uday Kumar Reddy had earlier mentioned a target of June-July this year to start commercial operations on the entire line.

The Salt Lake Sector V to Sealdah stretch of the East-West Metro corridor is commercially operational at present.

Of the total 16.6 km length of the line, the underground section is 10.8 km long, between Howrah Maidan and Phoolbagan, while the rest is elevated.

The Majerhat Metro Station of the Taratala-Majerhat section is a unique elevated metro station across railway lines, platforms and a canal, the statement said.

The 6.5-km section between Joka and Taratala of the Joka-Esplanade line is already operational.

Along with these, the PM unveiled metro projects in various cities of the country. These projects are cumulatively worth around ₹15,400 crore, officials said.

PM inaugurates Agra Metro priority corridor

The priority corridor of Agra Metro was inaugurated virtually by the Prime Minister as Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and other leaders took the inaugural train ride from the Taj Mahal station to Taj Mahal East station here.

Metro services on the 6-km corridor will be available to commuters from Thursday onwards, with stops at Taj Mahal East station , Captain Shubham Gupta station , Fatehabad Road station, Taj Mahal station and Mankameshwar Temple station.

“Agra Metro was necessary to make it a centre of modern facilities,” Mr. Adityanath said.

Mr. Adityanath appreciated the Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation (UPMRC) for timely completion of the first phase of Agra Metro, and said it has become operational nine months ahead of schedule.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone of the metro on December 7, 2020 and it was completed in 23 months, the chief minister said even as he lauded the UPMRC for “maintaining the quality” of the project.

“I express my gratitude to PM Narendra Modi for the Agra Metro and congratulate the people of city for it,” Adityanath said.

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