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Railway Minister Inspects Howrah Metro Station: India’s Deepest Station Set to Redefine Underground Commuting

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KOLKATA (Metro Rail News): On 21 June 2023, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw inspected the Howrah Maidan to Esplanade corridor of Kolkata’s East-West Metro (Green Line), which is about to be operational by the end of this year.

During the visit, Vaishnaw reassured the Kolkata’s Bowbazar district residents that their worries are being considered following three instances of subsidence and damage to homes in four years due to tunnelling work for constructing a Metro line.

Following an inspection of Howrah Maidan station, the minister conducted a trolley inspection through a tunnel and arrived at Howrah station, India’s deepest Metro station, with a depth of 33 metres (108 ft) and four underground levels.
He also inspected an underwater tunnel built 16 metres (52 feet) underneath the Hooghly River. Mr Vaishnaw expressed his delight with the progress of the work, calling it an engineering masterpiece. The minister also addressed the subsidence difficulties at Bowbazar, preventing the entire line from Howrah Maidan to Sector V, Saltlake, from being commissioned.

Mr. Vaishnaw told reporters, “The General Manager of Kolkata Metro is constantly meeting residents of Bowbazar.” Whether it is alternative construction or on-the-ground safety measures, inhabitants of Bowbazar are always engaged.” He added, “I will request that General Manager revisit Bowbazar, hold a camp, and explain the situation to residents in detail,”.
Over ten residences developed cracks in October last year, the third incidence in four years owing to tunnelling work for the Metro corridor.

Two buildings fell, and numerous others developed cracks in the Bowbazar neighbourhood in September 2019 after the underground tunnel-boring equipment struck an aquifer. Similar problems have been observed in May and October 2022.

When completed, the corridor will connect the twin towns of Howrah and Kolkata and handle 6.7 lakh passengers daily. A section of the line from Sealdah Station to Saltlake is already in service.

Apart from visiting Kolkata, Railway Minister Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw examined the Balasore Station renovation plan and talked about the development strategies. Additionally, he carried out a Section Inspection between Jaleswar and Kharagpur and examined station renovation projects at Jaleswar and Kharagpur that were part of the “Amrit Bharat Station Scheme.”Moreover, he looked over the Route Relay Interlocking (RRI) System at Kharagpur and the station’s renovation projects.

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