East-West Metro faces huge Cost Overrun: Babul Supriyo

Kolkata: The East-West metro, which is being executed by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited, is facing a huge cost overrun from Rs 4,875 crore to over Rs 8,000 crore, Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo said.

The additional cost would be jointly borne by the central ministries of rail and urban development and Japanese agency JICA, he told reporters here.

The present equity sharing between the three promoters is Railway Ministry (39.80 per cent), Ministry of Urban Development (13.98 per cent) and JICA (46.22 per cent).

The proportion of equity would not alter when the three promoters chip in with more funds for the project, Supriyo told reporters here.

Regarding the first phase of the project from Salt Lake to Sealdah, measuring 9.36 km out of the total 16.5 km stretch, he said the work is expected to be completed in June 2018 but was optimistic that it might be over by December 2017.

The second phase from Sealdah to Howrah Maidan was expected to be completed by June 2019.

Supriyo said following requests by the West Bengal government, the route had been re-aligned, which is costing an additional Rs 764 crore.

The Centre has agreed to bear this additional cost, he said, adding that necessary clearances from defence authorities were expected to be in place.

Screen doors for East-West Metro

The entire stretch of the route would be fitted with platform screen doors at a cost of Rs 155 crore to avoid possible suicide bids.

Heavy engineering PSU BEML has been given the contract to manufacture the rolling stock.

The East-West Metro will have screen doors in all stations like the ones in Singapore to prevent suicides, the Union minister of state for urban development, Babul Supriyo, said today.

He was speaking at a media meet at the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation office. The Centre will spend Rs 155 crore to install screen doors at all 12 stations on the route.

Metro had reported on August 11 that the railway ministry has turned down a similar proposal by Calcutta Metro authorities, saying it would be financially unviable.

“In underground stations, the screen doors will cover the space between the floor and the ceiling,” a KMRC official said. “The doors slide open/close simultaneously with train doors, allowing movement of passengers. No one can go close to the tracks.”

Calcutta’s existing north-south Metro network is plagued by suicides that often bring trains to a halt for long hours. Since 1984, when Metro started operating in the city, there have been 300 suicide attempts and 150 suicides.

In India, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) started installing platform screen doors at six stations on the Yellow Line this year. A DMRC official said all stations on the upcoming Mukundpur-Shiv Vihar (Line 7) and Janakpuri West-Botanical Garden (Line 8) sections would have platform screen doors. In Singapore, all Metro stations have platform screen doors.

The official said the doors would also help conserve energy. “The screen doors will not allow the cool air from ACs to flow into the tunnel.” In effect, fewer air conditioners would be required to cool the platform.

The official said for stations above the ground, the screen doors might not cover the entire space between the ceiling and the floor as ceilings are generally high in such stations.

The minister said he was hopeful that the first phase of the East-West Metro would be ready by December 2017 although the deadline is June 2018. The first phase covers the stretch between Sector V in Salt Lake and Sealdah.

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