KOLKATA: The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) on Friday said that the East-West Metro Corridor project, India's first underwater metro service, is expected to be completed by December 2023.
"The ongoing underwater tunnel project is likely to be completed by December 2023," said Shailesh Kumar, General Manager (GM) Civil KMRC.
With this, another feather is being added to the crown of Kolkata Metro, the first metro railway in the country. Kolkata Metro, which started its journey in 1984, is being expanded to cover the whole city and its outskirts. The underwater metro, which will be running through the Hoogly river will connect the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata
Speaking about the delay in the completion of the project, the metro official said, "Some rehabilitation works are in process and other issues are delaying the completion of the underwater metro project."
Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation has taken up the difficult take of making the tunnel with the help of German machines and the best experts. Work inside the tunnel is still in progress.
"We have taken foreign experts in tunneling projects, currently we are using machines from abroad (German) to make the difficult task easier," KMRC, GM (Civil) told ANI.
As far as the cost of construction of the underground metro is concerned, it costs about Rs 120 crore per kilometer to build the tunnel but the manufacturing cost of the tunnel underwater, which is deep in the Hooghly river costs increased to around 157 crores by per kilometer.
"We have made only 520-meter-long tunnel under the river (Hooghly) which was a very challenging task but we did it," KMRC said.
The completion of the project will bring great relief to lakhs of commuters as it will connect the busy Howrah and Sealdah railway stations as well as the north-south line of the Kolkata Metro at Esplanade.
Another attraction for travelers will be the twin tunnels under the width of the river. Passengers will pass under the water for half a kilometer in less than a minute, giving them a one-of-a-kind experience.