Kolkata Airport metro on slow track; awaits airports authority clearance

The Metro Rail authorities are waiting for necessary clearances from the airport authorities for last two years.

The airport metro project in Kolkata may have to wait till the end of this year to get due clearances for construction from the Airports Authority of India (AAI).

Promoted by Metro Railway, Kolkata – a wing of Indian Railways, unline other metro rail systems – the Rs.4,260-crore project will connect eastern fringes of the city with airport via IT hub in Salt Lake.

While construction of elevated rail track is on in the 25 km stretch, the Metro Rail authorities are waiting for necessary clearances from the airport authorities for last two years.

“Discussions are on with AAI and other Government departments. We hope to get the clearances by the end of the year,” Radhey Shyam, General Manager, Metro Railway, told Business Line.

Based on objections raised by the AAI in the past, the Metro Railway has already decided to build underground track near airport.

A fresh alignment plan is already submitted with the airport authorities.

Available estimates suggest that the metro extension project received a budgetary allocation of Rs 45 crore for FY14, a little over 5 per cent of the funds allocated in last year’s budget (Rs 750 crore).

According to the GM, a substantial portion of the last year’s budgetary allocation was returned owing to delayed execution of the project.

Work contracts for four sections (covering the elevated stretch) were awarded long back in 2011.

But, the project failed to pick up pace following the Metro Railway’s failure to determine a final route even after proposing a revised plan near airport.

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