Go back to
Home » My Kolkata » News » Full run of East-West Metro from June 2024

East-West Metro

Full run of East-West Metro from June 2024

Now operational between Sector V and Sealdah, project has missed multiple deadlines, mainly because of stretch between Esplanade and Sealdah

Debraj Mitra | Published 07.09.23, 05:43 AM
The East-West Metro construction site at Bowbazar last week

The East-West Metro construction site at Bowbazar last week

Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Metro rides between Salt Lake Sector V and Howrah Maidan, the terminal stations of East-West Metro, should start from June 2024, said the agency building the corridor.

Now operational between Sector V and Sealdah, the project has missed multiple deadlines, mainly because of the stretch between Esplanade and Sealdah.


Progress in the work in the problem zone has prompted officials of the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation — the implementing agency — to set the June 2024 target. Before the full stretch, a truncated service between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade will be operational by the end of this year.

“The stretch between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade, including the portion under the Hooghly, should be ready for commercial runs by December. There were some challenges in the Esplanade-Sealdah section. But things are under control now and construction is on course. The Esplanade-Sealdah stretch should be ready by June 2024. That means commercial services should start between Sector V and Howrah Maidan by June 2024,” V.K. Srivastava, managing director of the KMRC, said at a news conference on Wednesday.

Trial runs are being held in the stretch between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade and an inspection by the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) is expected in November, said Srivastava. A CRS nod is mandatory before commercial services.

For now, two rakes will be used between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade and there will be an interval of 12 minutes between two services.

“We cannot use more rakes because there is no place to keep them until the Esplanade-Sealdah section is ready and we can access the depot at Salt Lake,” said an official.


The 2.5km stretch between Esplanade and Sealdah, more specifically an 800m stretch at Bowbazar, is the main hurdle for the engineers. Bowbazar has seen three incidences of water seepage and subsidence since 2019.

The KMRC boss said the challenges had been taken care of and work was on the right course.

Two main steps remain before the stretch is ready for commercial runs. One is the construction of a ventilation shaft at Subodh Mullick Square and the other is the construction of an emergency evacuation shaft at Bowbazar.

For the ventilation shaft, a technology known as “ground-freezing” will be used to stabilise the soil to prevent water seepage. “Liquid nitrogen will be pumped into the soil to literally freeze it,” said an official.

A Norwegian firm has been contracted for the work.

“We have already applied for traffic restrictions from the police. A clearance from the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (Peso) is also needed before the ground-freezing starts. Subject to the permissions, we want to start the work before the Pujas. Six to eight months will be needed to finish the work,” said Srivastava.

Starting this Friday, underground electricity cables will be removed from the area, he added.

The construction of the evacuation shaft at Bowbazar is also underway.

The construction of new homes for those displaced by the accidents is set to start after the underground construction is over.

“The construction of the homes is expected to begin by April 2024 and we expect to complete it by December 2025,” said a KMRC official. Twenty-six houses will be built in the first phase.


A proposed extension of the Metro corridor from Sector V to Haldiram, via Teghoria, has got an “in-principle approval” from the railways but hit a cash hurdle.

“The railway ministry wants the state government to share half the cost. But in this case, the state government has expressed its inability to share the cost. We are trying to approach the Railway Board to bear the full cost,” said Srivastava.

Last updated on 07.09.23, 05:43 AM

More from My Kolkata