KOLKATA (Metro Rail News): Metro Railway general manager Arun Arora on Thursday said that in the next four years, Kolkata will have a 100km of Metro network. Phase 1 of the Joka-Esplanade and New Garia-Airport corridors are also a part of this and can start running in September and October, respectively. Also, East-West Metro’s Sealdah extension will start operations by April this year. Arora, also said that by January, next year, the entire East-West Metro will be operational.
From Monday, Metro will run 284 services on the North-South corridor, said Arora. With eight more trains added to service, the carrier will now be four coaches short as compared to pre-pandemic time.
The GM, Eastern Railway added that “Kolkata now has 39km of Metro network (North-South and East-West). By 2026, we shall easily achieve 100km.” To cater to the extensive network, 47 new rakes will be procured in the next three years, including China’s Dalian (14) and CRRC Zhuzhou (eight) and 14 rakes from Chennai’s ICF, Arora said. On the delay over Dalian rakes, Arora said, “The first one is undergoing various tests, which got delayed because of the pandemic. Once the rake gets the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) nod, the rest can come.”
Kolkata’s Line 2 is now a curtailed 6.97km from Sector V to Phoolbagan, awaiting CRS’s nod to add 2.3km to Sealdah. Allocating the latest difficulty over the first phase of the Joka-Esplanade and New Garia-Airport corridors, from Joka to Taratala on DH Road and New Garia to Ruby along EM Bypass, or extend these further from Joka to Majerhat and New Garia to Sector V respectively, Arora said infrastructure projects couldn’t be left idle.
Previously Metro Railway supported the extended Phase 1 of both lines while RVNL stood for the original launching plans. Arora said the sections would run with “one train on one line” system for now because of the delay in floating tenders for communication-based train control (CBTC) signalling. The Noapara-New Barrackpore line may start by August 2026, but its Barasat extension was uncertain because of land issues, Arora said. “Nearly 18 lakh people will be using Kolkata Metro daily by 2025,” he added.