A nearly seven-kilometre Metro stretch between Joka and Taratala is scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on December 30. The stretch is part of the Joka-Esplanade Metro corridor.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee had laid the foundation of the project in 2010 as the serving railways minister.
“The Prime Minister will be inaugurating the Joka-Taratala Metro project through video conferencing on December 30. We have completed the final inspection of the line. All necessary arrangements for the inauguration are now being made,” Metro railway general manager Arun Arora told The Telegraph.
“On December 30, there will be only an inaugural run of the Metro. We plan to start the commercial operations from January 1,” Arora said.
The 6.5-kilometre stretch connecting Joka and Taratala comprises six elevated stations — Joka, Thakurpukur, Sakherbazar, Behala Chowrasta, Behala Bazar and Taratala. The minimum fare will be Rs 5 and the maximum, Rs 20.
Initially, there will be only one train service on the Joka-Taratala route everyday. The train will start from Joka to reach Taratala and then the same one will return.
The estimated time for a one-way journey is around 19 minutes, officials said, adding that initially, passengers may have to wait for a long time after missing a train.
“Since auto-signalling is yet to be ready on this line, we will have to continue with one train service for the time being,” said a Metro official.
Officials said on December 30, the Prime Minister is expected to be at the Howrah station at 10.30am to flag off a Vande Bharat Express. The Metro link will be opened through a video conference.