Green light given to Kolkata metro project

9 October 2020

Approval has been given by the Indian government for a new metro line in Kolkata. The US$1.17bn East-West Metro Corridor project is hoped will boost mass rapid transport in the area.

Although the project was approved 12 years ago, it had stalled due to land acquisition and other problems and, more recently, by the coronavirus pandemic. It will now be implemented by a special-purpose body called the Kolkata Metro Rail Corp.

The 16.6km line will have 12 stations and aims to improve connectivity, ease congestion and offer a cleaner form of transport for Kolkata-region commuters. It will offer mass transit speeds between Kolkata’s business district and the cities of Howrah and Salt Lake City. Interconnectivity in the area will be facilitated by intersections with metro, suburban railway, bus and ferry hubs.

However, major engineering challenges are expected: a length of the route will have to be tunnelled under the River Ganges and will be India’s first-ever transportation tunnel beneath a major river; and difficulties could arise at Howrah station which will be one of the deepest metro stations in the country.