The city’s transportation landscape today achieved yet another milestone with the completion of the East-bound tunnel from Esplanade to Sealdah Station. The occasion was a reason to rejoice for Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) as the entire stretch of the Eastward metro line from Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan across the river Hooghly is now connected.

According to KMRCL, the East-bound tunnel is 2.45km, passing below the existing north-south line at a depth of 21 metres from ground level. The circular tunnel is 5.8m in internal diameter and is built with high grade concrete segmental liners of 275 mm thickness.

Special design was made to provide adequate engineering protection against any water ingress during the operational phase. After the breakthrough, the TBM Urvi will again be launched at Sealdah to complete the remaining stretch of 800m of the west-bound tunnel till Bowbazar.

The German borer’s journey till Sealdah Station was full of challenges. It is said to have crossed 25 buildings in severe condition and around 670 structures. Meanwhile, the metro authorities decided to run 146 daily service from Monday to Saturday at an interval of 8 minutes in the morning and evening peak hours instead of 122 services running presently.

The additional metro services will be started from 12 October. About 64 services will be run from 18 October between 10.10 am to 9.30 pm instead of 58 services being run now. Coming Monday, the last metro will leave from both ends – Dum Dum and Kavi Subhash at 8.30 pm instead of 8.00 pm and from Noapara at 8.25 pm from Monday to Saturday and at 8.23 pm on Sundays.