KOLKATA: Around 50km of Metro Railway tracks in the city will be operational in the next three years, railway board chairman Ashwani Lohani said in Calcutta on Sunday.
Sources said the entire stretch of the Noapara-Airport and Noapara-Dakshineswar projects, as well as East-West Metro would be ready during the period.
A part of the Kavi Subhash-Airport line and the Joka-BBD Bag line will be operational over the next three years.
The Kavi Subhash-Airport project will be ready till Salt Lake (from Kavi Subhash) and the Joka-BBD Bag will be ready till Majerhat (from Joka) in three years.
“Fifty kilometres of Metro tracks will be done in the next three years. These include the East-West Metro, Kavi Subhash-Airport Metro till Salt Lake, Noapara-Airport, Joka-BBD Bag (till Majerhat) and the Noapara-Dakshineswar Metro,” Lohani said.
East-West Metro trains will run till the Salt Lake stadium (from Sector V) by October and Phoolbagan by March 2019, Lohani said.
Other officials said the railways were targeting to make the entire stretch of East-West Metro (between Sector V and Howrah Maidan) operational by end-2020.
Work on the Joka-BBD Bag link is set to gather speed as the Calcutta Municipal Corporation had assured the railways of land.
Ajay Vijayvargiya, the general manager of Metro Railway, said mayor Sovan Chatterjee had assured them that the land required in Joka would be made available soon. “Once we get the land, work will start. We are targeting to complete the first 9km of the Joka-BBD Bag stretch (Joka to Majerhat) by June 2021,” Vijayvargiya said.
Lohani is in Calcutta to “understand and inspect” various projects and their progress. He took a ride on Saturday on the East-West Metro tracks under the Hooghly from Howrah Maidan till where the west-bound tunnel has been dug. “The tunnel will be complete till Esplanade in three months,” said Lohani.
Lohani said he would visit the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) next month to discuss what could be done to improve its condition.
“I think steam gauge should be used in DHR…. The workshops should be taken back in time,” he said.
The Unesco has declared DHR as a World Heritage Site. Last July, suspected Gorkhaland supporters had set on fire the headquarters of the DHR at Kurseong.