Moving a step forward in completion of the East-West Corridor, the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited (KMRCL), is soon to start full-fledged track laying work along the riverbed of the Hooghly soon. The tracks, shipped from Vienna, were brought to the Kolkata Port before the lockdown.

The KMRCL engineers had even initiated the work on track laying which was later halted due to the nationwide lockdown. However, after the Unlock 2.0, the KMRCL engineers are now once again gearing up to start the work of laying of the tracks beneath the riverbed.

According to sources, the steel manufactured in Austria and used in the tracks is specialised high-strength and does not corrode easily. The tracks, 1710 tonnes in weight, are in the shape of 18 metre long bars and have been kept at the casting yards of Howrah Maidan and Subhash Sarovar.

A hi-tech ‘mobile flashbat welding’ machine is to be used for soldering the tracks. According to the KMRCL engineers, as the riverbed of the Hooghly in this stretch is deep, extra care needs to be taken during the laying of tracks. Notably, the concrete laying under the riverbed has already been completed the tunnel.

The track laying will start from Howrah Maidan and after crossing the tunnel under the Hooghly River will be extend to Esplanade. The length of the tracks, according to KMRCL engineers, stretches over a distance of 3.8 kilometres. Considering the situation near Bowbazar, where tunnelboring work led to severe subsidence, the work beyond Esplanade will be taken up depending upon the completion of the tunnel in that stretch.

Amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the KMRCL authorities, now, have the added responsibilities of maintaining the COVID-19 protocol. “The entire labour force is to be immunised before starting the work,” informed a KMRCL official.

“Therefore, the labourers and other staff are being kept in 7 days’ quarantine. The track laying task will be started once the quarantine period is over,” he added. Meanwhile, electrical department of the existing line has taken up the work of fresh painting of the third rail of North- South Metro. This fresh coat of paint will prevent rusting of the third rail which provides power supply to the Metro rakes.