Fuel for Metro Mission 2020

Three lines get 'realistic' targets based on progress

By Debraj Mitra in Calcutta
  • Published 13.02.18
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Work in progress at Noapara

Calcutta: Three of the city's Metro routes in the making will be operational between June 2019 and December 2020, the new timelines for each prompted by a steady flow of funds and success in removing land hurdles out of the way.

The target set by Metro Railway for the Noapara-Dakshineswar and the New Garia-Ruby routes is June 2019. For the Noapara-Airport line, December 2020 is the new deadline.

The only project that had a realistic deadline until last year was the East-West Metro. All other projects were in the realm of uncertainty because of settlers refusing to shift from some construction sites.

Based on the budgetary allocations, the projects that promise to change Calcutta's transport landscape are taking final shape. The amount earmarked in the 2018-19 budget for ongoing Metro projects in Calcutta other than the East-West route is Rs 830.36 crore. The figure in the previous budget was Rs 650 crore.

"The ministry has made it clear that funds will not be a constraint for any project if it makes progress," Ajay Vijayvargiya, general manager of Metro Railway, said on Monday.

A detailed report on the status of individual projects and the remaining roadblocks will be made public in the next few days, officials said.

Funding boost

The New Garia-Airport project alone has received Rs 344 crore, compared to Rs 250 crore last year. This is based on the progress made in building stations along the Bypass since land was made available.

The extension beyond Ruby will take more time because of eight buildings between Sector V and the airport. Demolition of these hurdles will take time, officials said.

To build a station near the Chingrighata crossing on the Bypass, the implementing agency RVNL will need a traffic diversion involving coordination with police and other agencies.

RVNL has had to already revise the alignment between City Centre and the airport because of a proposed flyover near the Haldiram's crossing, officials said.

The problem of encroachments between Noapara and Dakshineswar has been solved, enabling the authorities to set a target of June 2019 for that route as well. But the stretch between Baranagar and Barrackpore remains uncertain because of water lines under BT Road.

The first phase of the East-West network connecting Sector 5 and Salt Lake Stadium will be operational within June 2018, the Metro Railway general manager said.

The route will be extended till Phoolbagan within March 2019.

The last of the encroachments in the way of the Noapara-Dakshineswar stretch are to be removed by end-February, officials said.