Commuting across the Salt Lake will soon see a seachange as the Metro authorities are putting their best foot forward to start the commercial services in the first phase of the East-West Corridor during the last week of October. The first phase of Line-2, covering around 5.7 km, would serve as a vital link of transportation for the residents of Salt Lake. The service would connect Sector V to Howrah Maidan.

The final rounds of preparations by the engineers of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL) are being carried out in full swing. The authorities of the project’s implementing agency are now focussing on the grey areas as per the recommendations given by the commissioner of railway safety after an inspection in July. The experts have asked the KMRCL to fix the defective bearings on the piers that hold the viaduct on which the rail tracks have been laid. Another recommendation of the CRS was for upgradation of the software of the Train Control and Management System (TCMS).

The KMRCL engineers, according to sources in Metro Railway, were asked to complete the remaining work by 20 October. The Metro authorities had conducted a mock run for seven days in August to familiarise the team of about 150 officials who had received intense training in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata with the nuances and technicalities of the highly advanced East-West Corridor. However, some areas, according to Metro officials, needed more emphasis even after the completion of the mock runs. The Metro authorities were considering starting the second round of independent mock runs but the idea had to be abandoned due to the Bowbazar disaster.

After a high-level meeting held on 28 September, the Metro railway authorities have decided to begin the second round of demo-runs. “The three-day mock run will be conducted in the next week while simultaneous preparations will be carried out by the KMRCL,” an official of Kolkata Metro Rail said. “After the completion of the remaining task, the KMRCL will submit a compliance report to us. A decision on the date of inauguration will be taken only after that. However, if everything goes according to the plan, the inauguration can take place in the last week of October,” he added.