February 23, 2009

Kolkata Metro extension to be completed by 2014

Kolkata February 23: Continuing with his announcements of heavyweight infrastructure projects over the past one week, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today laid the foundation stone of the Rs 4,874.58-crore East-West Kolkata Metro corridor project, the first ever in the country to run under a river.

The central government will invest Rs 1,169 crore for the project through equity and subordinated debt, while the state government will spend around Rs 1,452.58 crore. The remaining Rs 2,253 crore will be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) as a senior-term debt loan.The 13.77-km corridor would run from Salt Lake Sector V, the IT hub of the city, up to Howrah Maidan. Of this, around 8 km will be underground with six stations and the balance 5.77 km will be on an elevated track.

The underground corridor starts from Howrah railway station and will cross the river Hooghly at a depth of 60 feet from the water level. The proposal to extend the metro alignment up to Howrah Maidan from Howrah station covering an additional 900 metres at an added cost of Rs 198.58 crore was sanctioned by theCentre’s committee of empowered ministers last Thursday.

“The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) has been registered as a joint venture company with equal equity participtation from the Centre and the state government in July last year,” Bhattacharjee said. “It has already started issuing work orders and tenders,” he added.Tender for the elevated corridor at Salt Lake was awarded to Gammon India Ltd on February 20, informed state Transport Secretary Sumantra Chowdhury, who is also the managing director of KMRC.He added that KMRC aims to make the Salt Lake-Sealdah stretch ready by 2012. The deadline for completion of the entire project is October 2014.

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