History of Metro Railway….The Sanction
Metro Railway project between Dum Dum and Tollygunge over a length of 16.45 km was sanctioned during 1972-73. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, on December 29, 1972 and the construction work started in 1973-74. The revised sanctioned cost of work was Rs. 1716.95 Cr.
Work gets underway…
Indian Railway engineers backed by their own experience and supplemented by their studies abroad adopted new technologies for the first time in the country:
(i) Cut and cover method of construction using diaphragm walls and sheet piles;
(ii) Use of extensive decking for keeping the road traffic flow over the cut, while construction was in progress underneath;
(iii) Shield tunneling using compressed air and air locks; and,
(iv) Ballastless tracks using elastic fastenings, rubber pads, epoxy mortar nylon inserts etc.
Commencement of Commercial Service
Since the commencement of construction, the project had to contend with several problems but overcoming innumerable hurdles and crossing all barriers of disbelief, Kolkata Metro became a reality on October 24, 1984 with the commissioning of a partial commercial service covering a distance of 3.40 km. with five stations between Esplanade and Bhowanipur (now Netaji Bhavan). Other sections were commissioned subsequently and the entire section from Dum Dum to Tollygunge was commissioned in 27.09.1995.
Extension of Metro Service
In order to provide its services to more and more people in and around Kolkata, the extension of Metro Railway beyond Tollygunge for 8.657 km route length was sanctioned in 1999-2000. The cost of the project was Rs. 1092.08 Crores including cost of new rolling stock and construction of passenger interface at New Garia with Sealdah – Bongaon line of Eastern Railway and Maintenance Shed at New Garia. The major part of the railway track in this section has been constructed on an elevated structure and the alignment runs along Tolly’s Nullah. There are six stations in this route and extension has brought South 24 Parganas District closer to Kolkata’s Central Business area and reduced enormous pressure on other modes of transport. The extension from Tollygunge (Mahanayak Uttam Kumar) to New Garia (Kavi Subhas) has been commissioned in two phases.
·On 22.08.2009 from Mahanayak Uttam Kumar to Kavi Nazrul5.887 km.
·Kavi Nazrul to Kavi Subhas 3 km. opened on 07.10.2010.
Northward extension from Dum Dum to Baranagar (4.50 km) was sanctioned in 2009 and Dum Dum to Noapara (2.09km) with one station at Noapara has been commissioned on 10.7.2013. With the extension of commercial services upto Noapara, it has become convenient for the commuters from Subhasnagar, B.T Road locality to avail Metro services directly to reach the Central Business District.
Further work in Noapara – Baranagar section with one station at Baranagar is in progress.
Presently Metro Railway is operating commercial services in 27.2 km from Noapara to New Garia (Kavi Subhash) with 24 Stations.