Manoj Joshi has just taken charge as GM, Metro Railway. On Saturday, he did an extensive survey of the ready-to-launch East-West Metro, boarding one of the futuristic BEML rake at 10am from Sector V station. He also did a recce of the underground section, riding till the Phoolbagan crossover. The East-West tracks run along an elevated viaduct starting at Sector V till Salt Lake Stadium along EM Bypass. The tracks duck at Subhas Sarovar where the underground tunnelling starts. Joshi covered around 6km to check the Phoolbagan station, which is the first underground station of the 16.5km East-West Metro. He then visited the state-of-the-art Salt Lake depot where the section’s nucleus or the operations control cabin (OCC) is housed, along with the stabling yard.
Even as Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) is implementing the Rs 8,575-crore East-West Metro, which will be India’s first underwater Metro project, Metro Railway, which runs Kolkata’s north-south line, will be in charge of its operations. Around 100 employees of Metro Railway are undergoing rigorous training so that they can seamlessly operate the advanced East-West corridor.
Since October 2018, the Salt Lake launch has been missing one deadline after another. On August 31 last year, the project was hit by the biggest mishap ever as the machine boring one of the underground tunnels at Bowbazar hit an aquifer that caused large-scale subsidence resulting in buildings falling like a pack of cards.
The new GM’s inspection is likely to pave the way for the much-awaited launch, an official said. “He was very positive about launching the section, happy with the readiness,” said the official. He said the GM was likely to give his report on the preparedness to Railway Board, which, in turn, would inform CRS about a possible date of commissioning. The board will then issue a notification on the unveiling.
A preparedness report was earlier sent in the first week of December by Suneet Sharma, Eastern Railway’s GM who had been officiating as the Metro Railway GM since October.
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