The construction of a Metro station named after one of the city’s landmarks is set to begin.
A parcel of the Maidan has been barricaded for construction of the Victoria station of the upcoming Joka-Esplanade Metro corridor.
On Saturday, “work in progress” boards were being set up on the Maidan near the fountain on Red Road, around 50m from Queens Way. The site was around 150m from the North Gate of the Victoria Memorial.
“The barricades are meant to facilitate construction work for the upcoming Victoria station,” said an official of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), the implementing agency of the 15km corridor, which is now operational on a 6.5km stretch between Joka and Taratala.
“The contract for the entire underground section has been given. The barricades on the Maidan are meant to block unauthorised access to the construction site. More such portions of the Maidan will be barricaded in the coming days,” said an official of the RVNL.
The Joka-Mominpore section of the project is elevated. From Mominpore, the remaining portion is underground.
“The four underground stations will be Kidderpore, Victoria, Park Street and Esplanade. A majority of the underground section will be constructed with a tunnel-boring machine. Only a small portion will be built in the traditional cut-and-cover method,” the official said.
The length of the underground section is around 5km. Of the total length, around 500m of the last stretch will be built using the cut-and-cover method, said the official.
The contract for the underground section was in June given to L&T Construction.
RVNL officials are chasing a Puja deadline for extending the corridor till Majerhat.
The project, which has suffered long delays, started getting some traction after this year’s Union budget.
The proposed outlay for the Joka-Esplanade Metro corridor is Rs 1,350 crore, compared to Rs 350 crore in the previous budget.
Operational since January, the Joka-Taratala section does not see much footfall. It is functional with a system that entails one train completing one leg of the journey and then coming back.
“The count is expected to go up once Majerhat comes into the network. Metro commuters can then access suburban railway services from Majerhat as well,” said a Metro official.
The Majerhat station is coming up over the Majerhat railway yard.
Five clubs and one riding school in the Maidan area have been asked to shift to make way for the construction of the corridor.
The five clubs are Calcutta Police Club, Calcutta Kennels Club, Rajasthan Club, Kalighat Club and Kidderpore Sporting Club.
The Kolkata Mounted Police Paddock and Riding School also falls inside the construction area.