KOLKATA GOT its first underground Metro station in 25 years as Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Sunday flagged off the first train from Phoolbagan in an online event.
Phoolbagan, is the first underground Metro station along the 16.5 km East-West Metro route, which will connect Howrah Maidan to New Town in the northeastern fringes of Kolkata. The services of East-West Metro to Phoolbagan will be open for public from Monday.
Terming it as a Durga Puja gift, Goyal said that Metro provides the safest, cleanest and fastest transportation system in Kolkata. He also congratulated everyone for making extra effort to complete Phoolbagan station amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I am told that by December 2021, the entire 16.5-km Metro stretch will be completed,” said Goyal. He said that not much work was done till 2015, which delayed the project and “escalated the cost”.
The East-West Metro was commissioned by Goyal in 2008.
Destination, Assembly polls
He added that if land is made available and encroachments are removed, then funds will not be a constraint for implementing any Railway project.
Babul Supriyo, Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change congratulated him and expressed hope that in the coming days people will be able to commute to and from Sealdah station easily due to this extension of East-West Metro.
Debasree Chaudhuri, Minister of State for Women and Child Development was also present in this programme.
Meanwhile, the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress alleged that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not accorded due respect as she wasn’t invited to the event. State’s Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said that there would have been no Metro Railways in Kolkata without Banerjee.
The first phase of the East-West Metro station from Salt Lake Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium was opened on February 13.
The entire 1.6-km stretch from Salt Lake Stadium Station to Phoolbagan Station with a standard gauge double line was completed on June 12. Phoolbagan station bears special significance because of its proximity to the Sealdah railway station.
“Opening of Phoolbagan station will facilitate a large number of commuters to go to the IT Hub in Salt Lake Sector 5, International Bus Terminal and Mela Ground in Karunamoyee, important government offices at Central Park besides the famous Salt Lake football stadium. The travel time from PhoolBagan to Salt Lake Sector 5 by Metro will be 16 minutes,” said Manoj Joshi general manager of Metro Railway said.
The PhoolBagan station is equipped with various salient facilities, including ticket vending machines, platform screen doors (which extend up to the inner roof of the platform), tactiles at concourse and platform area for safety of persons with disabilities, escalators with enhanced safety features and customer care kiosks. The station also has a state-of-the-art traffic control and signalling room.
From Monday, daily 48 Metros will run from 8 am to 7.50 pm from Salt Lake Sector 5 to Phoolbagan at an interval of 30 minutes. There will be no service on Sunday.
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