“Encouraging trend for public transport in India”: Modi on Kolkata metro trial run under Hooghly River

15 April, 2023 | Pragati Singh

modi National

Kolkata Metro created another history on April 12, 2023.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight at the successful trial run of the Kolkata Metro beneath the Hooghly River. The first rake of the Kolkata Metro arrived at the Howrah Maidan on Wednesday and was tested through a tunnel under the Hooghly River.

Taking to Twitter, Union Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw said, “Train travels underwater! Trial run of train through another engineering marvel; metro rail tunnel and station under Hooghly river.” In response to the tweet by Railway Minister Vaishnaw, the Prime Minister tweeted: “Great news for Kolkata and an encouraging trend for public transport in India.”

“Kolkata Metro created another history on April 12, 2023. After a long wait Country’s first Metro has run under the mighty river Hooghly on Wednesday. For the first time in India Metro has completed the river journey,” an official statement said.

“This is a historic moment for Metro Railway as after overcoming many hurdles we have succeeded in running rakes beneath the Hooghly River,” Kaushik Mitra, the chief public relation officer of Kolkata Metro, said. “This is a revolutionary step in providing a modern transport system to the people of Kolkata and its suburbs. This is indeed a special new year gift from Indian Railways for the people of Bengal,” he added.

The 4.8 km underground section from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade will be tested soon. When completed, Howrah will be the country’s deepest Metro station (33 metres below ground). The Metro is expected to complete the 520-meter stretch beneath the Hooghly River in 45 seconds. This river tunnel is 32 metres below the water level.

According to officials, commercial services along the stretch could begin in 2023. With this, Kolkata Metro, the country’s first metro railway, gains another feather in its cap. The Kolkata Metro, which began operations in 1984, is being expanded to cover the entire city and its outskirts. The underwater metro will connect the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata by running through the Hoogly river.

The project’s completion will provide significant relief to lakhs of commuters by connecting the congested Howrah and Sealdah railway stations, as well as the Kolkata Metro’s north-south line at Esplanade.

The East-West Metro Corridor project, India’s first underwater metro service, is expected to be completed by December 2023, according to the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC).