The Railway minister, Piyush Goyal inaugurated the 1.665 km stretch of Phoolbagan Metro Station of city’s EastWest metro corridor today, virtually. He also flagged off the first train from Phoolbagan to Salt Lake Sector-V.
Speaking during the inaugural ceremony in virtual mode, Goyal said, “I am told that by the end of next year, December 2021, the entire project of East-West Corridor of 16.55 km is expected to be completed, hopefully with no further hiccups coming up due to the Covid pandemic. It is estimated that this line would be used by 10 lakh people by 2035 and the time taken to travel from one part of Kolkata to another will significantly fall with the commissioning of all these new systems. The IT hub of Sector V, international bus stand and Mela Ground at Karunamoyee, important government offices at Central Park, City Centre, the busy EM Bypass and Salt Lake Stadium will get connected to the old city area by metro services and the time taken to travel from Phoolbagan to Sector V will be only 16 minutes as against more than an hour by road.”
Talking about obstructions of the Metro Corridor he said, “The project was sanctioned in July 2008 but for a long time it got delayed and very little work was done until 2015. There were problems of land acquisition, resettlement issues and the state government made us change the alignment. All of this resulted in huge delay and cost escalation of this project which was expedited after 2015.”
He also reassured that if land is made available and encroachments are removed then funds won’t be a constraint for implementing any Railway project.
Notably, Phoolbagan Metro Station is the first underground metro station in Kolkata after 25 years.
Commercial services to and from Phoolbagan metro station will be run from tomorrow between 8 am to 7.50 pm at 30 minutes intervals.
The last service will start from Salt Lake Sector-V and Phoolbagan stations at 7.30 pm while there will be no commercial services operated on Sunday in this stretch.