Decks cleared for Metro Rail expansion projects in Kolkata

For the expansion of the Kabi Subhas-Biman Bandar (Kabi Subhas Airport)

KOLKATA: According to a senior officer at the Kolkata secretariat Nabanna, the expansion of the existing metro railway from Kabi Subhas-Noapara till the city airport, is expected to be completed by another one-and-a-half years’ time and operational within two years.

“The rehabilitation programme by South Dumdum Municipality is complete,” he said, adding that hopefully, the expansion of this stretch will be over within one-and-a-half years. The expansion was part of the extension of the Kabi Subhas-Noapara metro, till Barasat, he explained.

The East-West Metro project, from Salt Lake’s Sector V till Howrah Maidan, is expected to be operational till Sealdah, within another one-and-a-half years’ time, he said. The official stated that although most of the hindrances in case of the Joka-BBD Bagh Metro project have been resolved, they were now facing issues regarding construction close to heritage structures in certain parts of the city. “Problems have been addressed but now, we are facing issues regarding construction near heritage buildings.

“As per the laws, one cannot dig or run a construction within 100 metres of a heritage building. However, when the Joka Metro line reaches BBD Bagh area, we have quite a few heritage buildings. So, we need an amendment of the Act. We have already written to the centre regarding this,” he said.

For the expansion of the Kabi Subhas-Biman Bandar (Kabi Subhas Airport) project, the official said that there were a few bottlenecks which will be addressed promptly. Talking about the Baranagar-Dakshineswar-Barrackpore Metro railway project, the senior official said as there were several problems in the Dakshineswar-Barrackpore sector, priority has been given to the expansion from Noapara till Dakishneswar. Deadlines of 24 months have been set up for the Joka-BBD Bagh project and for the Noapara-Dakshinewar project, a timeline of 18 months has been given, he said.

The Centre has set aside over Rs 17,810 crores for metro projects across the country, in the Union Budget for 2017-18, which is a jump of nearly 14% over last years’ allocation.