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Kolkata Metro creates history as the first underwater metro run in India

14 April, 2023 09:05:51
Kolkata Metro creates history as the first underwater metro run in India

Kolkata has always created history, be it the first city of India to get an underground metro to being the erstwhile capital of the British empire centuries ago. But the City of Joy has created history again on Wednesday as it achieved a new milestone when a Metro rake for the first time in India completed a journey under the bed of River Hooghly through a tunnel 32 metres below water level.

P. Uday Kumar Reddy, General Manager, Metro Railway, travelled from Mahakaran to Howrah Maidan station in Rake No. MR-612 to witness this historic event. This rake crossed river Hooghly at 11:55 hrs. H.N. Jaiswal Additional General Manager, Metro Railway and MD, KMRCL [Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited] as well as other senior officers of Metro Railway and KMRCL accompanied him during this journey. Describing the development as a “historic event’ Mr. Reddy informed that the trial runs from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade will be conducted for the next seven months and after that regular services on this stretch will begin. It is expected that commercial services on this stretch will begin this year. 


Two Metro rakes had been taken to Howrah Maidan station from Esplanade station, for the trial runs along the 4.8-km underground section from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade. Tunnels under the bed of river Hooghly, 32 metres below the water level, are considered an engineering marvel and are part of East West Metro Project that aims to connect Howrah Maidan with Rajarhat along the 16.6-km route. The process of laying the tunnel was completed in 2017. The underwater tunnels will connect Kolkata and Howrah with a Metro station at Howrah which will be the deepest Metro station (33 metres below surface) of the country. The Metro is expected to cover the 520-metre stretch under the river Hooghly in a span of 45 seconds.

At present about 9.1 km of the East West Metro line from Salt Lake Sector V to Sealdah is operational. The tunnel is an Indian version of Eurostar's London-Paris corridor and is 13 metre below the riverbed and 33 metre below ground level.

In a first for the country, Kolkata Metro touched a milestone on Wednesday by running through the tunnel under Hooghly river. The metro rake undertook its maiden journey from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade, with only officials and engineers on board. Terming it an historic event, Metro Railway general manager P Uday Kumar Reddy said: “Trial runs between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade station will be conducted for the next five to seven months, following which regular services on this stretch will begin.”


The tunnel -- the Indian version of Eurostar’s London-Paris corridor -- is 13 metre below the riverbed and 33 metre below ground level.

It reportedly has four stations- Esplanade, Mahakaran, Howrah, and Howrah Maidan, and will take 45 seconds to cross the tunnel.

The 520-metre tunnel is part of the East West Metro Corridor of Kolkata -- from the IT hub of Salt Lake Sector V in the east to Howrah Maidan in the west across the river.

The metro route between Howrah and Sealdah cuts down the travel time to 40 minutes as against 1.5 hours by road. It will also ease congestion at both ends.

The construction of the tunnel from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade had to face several challenges as it passes through very congested areas along the Brabourne Road in the Burrabazar area, with several century-old houses there had to shift residents to hotels during underground work there.

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