Kolkata Metro snippets
The proposed New Garia-to-Kolkata Airport Metro project is all set to be implemented. The Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation (Hidco) has cleared the proposed Metro alignment on the important stretch from Salt Lake to airport via Rajarhat. Hidco officials met officials of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL) last week to discuss and finalize the alignment. RVNL authorities submitted the alignment plan to Hidco. “The alignment has now been finalized. There were some technical issues that had to be sorted out. The authorities had to review whether the alignment will affect underground utilities like the drainage and sewerage system,” a Hidco official said. “The alignment has, in principle, been cleared and approved. We are not allowing the alignment to go over the wetlands,” said Hidco chairman-cum-managing director and urban development secretary Debasis Sen. According to the final alignment, the Metro will enter Rajarhat from Sector V and run parallel to the Rajarhat Main Arterial Road along Action Area-I. It will then gradually take a left turn along the main arterial road avoiding the water bodies and finally go underground after nearing the airport. There will be a few stations along the route through Rajarhat. The route will crisscross with that of the East-West Metro near Wipro at Sector V. A station of the East-West Metro will also come up there. This crisscrossing will drastically improve connectivity in the city and immensely help passengers by enabling them to commute in several directions. They could head for Howrah taking the East-West Metro or for New Garia by the proposed Metro. The New Garia-to-airport project is scheduled to be completed by 2014. The alignment on this particular stretch had to be finalized before implementing the project. Starting from New Garia, the proposed Metro route will move along EM Bypass and enter Sector V from Chingrighata. It will be an elevated route before reaching the airport where it will go underground. The project went through rough weather during the previous Left-run government rule. There was a verbal duel between then housing minister and Hidco chairman Gautam Deb and Mamata Banerjee, who was then railway minister. Deb had repeatedly said that they were ready to hand over land to the railways free of cost, but blamed Mamata for “not cooperating”. Once the Metro interlink comes up near Wipro in Sector V and the New Garia-airport Metro route starts operating, the passenger count from the spot will be huge. The NDITA has already started working on an upgraded traffic system to cope with the pressure.