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Rail set to take over East-West
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The railway ministry is set to take over the East-West Metro project extending from Salt Lake to Howrah.

“We have sent a letter to the urban development ministry today, saying the railways are taking over the East-West Metro project. We’ve received a no-objection certificate from the ministry,” railway minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday at a programme in Salt Lake’s Nayapatti to lay the foundation stone for the New Garia-airport Metro link.

The Union minister of state for urban development, Saugata Roy, said the railways had stated that they had agreed in principle to take over the project.

“The state government, too, has written to us, saying it has no objection to handing over its stake to the urban development ministry. Details of the handover will be worked out through talks.”

The urban development ministry and the state government had 50:50 stake in the Rs 4,676 crore project.

Work on the project, being handled by the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC), is facing hurdles following a stand-off between the railways and the state.

The railways have apparently refused to provide land to the KMRC for setting up underground stations of East-West Metro at Howrah and Sealdah stations. “The project has already been delayed by six months because of the stand-off,” said a KMRC official.

At the Salt Lake programme, Mamata again went on a spree to name stations after popular personalities. The 32km link between Kavi Subhas (New Garia) and the airport, to be set up at a cost of Rs 400 crore, will have 24 stations.

The first station from New Garia will come up near the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute and be named after him. Mukundapur station will be named after Jyotindra Nandy, Kalikapur after poet Sukanta Bhattacharya and the one near Ruby hospital after singer Hemanta Mukhopadhyay.

Two stations will be named after late journalists — Barun Sengupta (Science City) and Gour Kishore Ghosh (Chingrihata). Sector V, Rajarhat CBD 2, Rajarhat City Centre, Rajarhat and Bantala Road stations will be called be IT, Kala Kshetra, Titumir, Rabindra Tirtha and Ritwik Ghatak, respectively. The airport station will be called Jai Hind station.

The project deadline is six months.

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