Kolkata Makes Waves: India First Underwater Metro

Image depicting the inaugural launch of India's first underwater metro service in Kolkata, a groundbreaking moment in the city's transportation history
Kolkata Makes Waves- India First Underwater Metro[Source-Jagran Josh]

On March 6, 2024, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a significant achievement in India's transportation landscape by inaugurating the country's maiden underwater metro section in Kolkata. This groundbreaking addition, the Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section of the Kolkata Metro, represents a pivotal moment in the city's metropolitan infrastructure, featuring the nation's premier metro tunnel beneath the Hooghly River.

Key Highlights:

India's Premier Underwater Transportation Tunnel: The Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section stands as India's foremost underwater transportation tunnel, positioned beneath the Hooghly River, linking Kolkata and Howrah.

Deepest Metro Station in India: At 30 meters below ground level, the Howrah metro station claims the title of being the deepest metro station in the country.

Crucial Segment of the East-West Metro Corridor: Spanning 4.8 kilometers, the corridor between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade serves as a vital link in the East-West Metro corridor, facilitating connectivity to key areas including the prominent IT hub, Salt Lake Sector V.

Cost and Construction: The construction of the 4.8-kilometer stretch incurred a total expenditure of ₹4,965 crore. Notably, out of the 16.6 kilometers comprising the East-West Metro corridor, 10.8 kilometers are underground, with the tunnel beneath the river forming a significant component.

Swift Transit Time: The underwater metro is anticipated to traverse the 520-meter river stretch in just 45 seconds, promising commuters a swift and time-efficient mode of transportation.

Prime Minister's Engagement:

During the inauguration, Prime Minister Modi engaged with school students and metro personnel, exemplifying the government's commitment to public interaction and involvement. The students expressed their enthusiasm about meeting the Prime Minister and experiencing the underwater metro journey alongside him. Accompanying the Prime Minister were notable figures including West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar and state Leader of Opposition, BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari.

Additional Inaugurations:

In conjunction with the underwater metro, PM Modi also inaugurated the Kavi Subhash-Hemanta Mukhopadhyay section of the New Garia-Airport line and the Taratala-Majerhat section of the Joka-Esplanade line of the Kolkata Metro, enriching the city's oldest metro network.

Historical Significance:

The genesis of an underwater transportation system in Kolkata traces back to 1921 when British engineer Sir Harley Dalrymple-Hay proposed a concept akin to London's infrastructure. After over a century since its initial proposal, India's first under-river metro, the Kolkata Metro's Green Line, finally materialized, underscoring a historic moment in the city's transit evolution.

This transformative project not only enhances Kolkata's transportation network but also symbolizes India's strides in modern infrastructure development, fostering connectivity and progress for its citizens.

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