This early start of metro services will help the participants from all corners of the city to reach the JLN Stadium and '10K venue' at Janpath-Tolstoy Marg Junction on the race day
In a few months, commuters at Howrah Maidan would be able to travel till Esplanade enjoying the comforts of Metro rakes in 12 minutes duration. The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRCL) is aiming to run commercial services from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade passing through the stretch under the Hooghly at an interval of 12 minutes from December.
The country’s first underwater Metro network is having trial runs of rakes frequently. Work of completion and installation of various systems between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade is also being carried out. After completion of the work, the KMRCL authorities are planning to approach the commissioner of railway safety for the necessary inspection in November and start commercial services from December. Initially, the KMRCL authorities are planning to start services at gaps of 12 minutes.
The KMRCL is eying to make the entire stretch between Howrah Maidan and Sealdah operational by June 2024. Once the stretch between Esplanade and Sealdah is operational, the frequency of services between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade would be increased, according to the managing director of KMRCL, VK Srivastava. “We will start the commercial services in this part in a truncated manner. It will be sort of limited services.
It will also give us some indication of the traffic coming in this route so that we can plan the future frequency and other things accordingly,” informed Mr Srivastava. In the section near the cave-in zone, the implementing agency is awaiting a nod from Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) for proceeding with the ground freezing work near Subodh Mullick Square. PESO is a nodal agency for regulating safety of hazardous substances such as explosives, compressed gas and petroleum.
The ground freezing work would involve handling of liquid nitrogen that needs to be dealt with great caution. According to the MD, the task of freezing the ground being targeted to start before Durga Puja, would take around six months to be completed. The KMRCL is planning to start the reconstruction of the 26 houses that were damaged during the subsidence, from the month of April 2024. The implementing agency is targeting to complete the reconstruction and rehabilitation work by December 2025.
The authorities of the implementing agency however, are hesitant to start the reconstruction of the affected buildings before the completion of the underground work. The KMRCL is in the process of finalizing the tenders for the reconstructions of the houses. Meanwhile, the Metro corridor between Sector V to Haldiram is facing a hurdle of financing. The KMRCL authorities are said to have approached the state government for sharing half the cost of the project.
The state government however, is said to have expressed its inability citing fund constraints. The KMRCL has re-approached the Railway Board for full funding of the project.