Kolkata Metro on Thursday conducted a test run of its rake through a tunnel under the Hooghly river, an official said here. The exercise was undertaken after Kolkata Metro scripted history on April 12 when its rake ran through the tunnel under the Hooghly for the first time in the country from the eastern metropolis to Howrah on the other side of the river.
The test run from Howrah Maidan station to Esplanade, covering a distance of about 4.8 kilometres, was conducted successfully, and then the rake with a few Kolkata Metro officials and media persons on board returned to its starting point.
“This was a joyride we organised today,” says A K Nandy, general manager, administration, Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation.
The Kolkata Metro authorities will continue with such test runs extensively before the opening of this stretch of the East-West Metro corridor for the public.
After this stretch becomes operational, Howrah Maidan will be the deepest Metro station – 33 metres below the surface – of the country.
The Metro is expected to cover the 520-metre stretch under the Hooghly river in 45 seconds, the official said, adding that this tunnel under the river is 32 metres below the water surface level.
The East-West Metro corridor connecting Howrah Maidan and Sector V, the Information Technology hub in Salt Lake, is partially operational – between Sealdah and Sector V stations.
Completion of the total project has been delayed owing to accidents in Bowbazar area of central Kolkata.
The Metro Railway had earlier said that it plans to start services by the end of this year in the Howrah Maidan-Esplanade stretch if a problem persisting at Bowbazar, between Esplanade and Sealdah stations, is not sorted out by then.
Out of the 16.6-km length of East-West Metro, the underground corridor constitutes 10.8 km between Howrah Maidan and Phoolbagan with the tunnel passing below the Hooghly river, while the rest is elevated corridor, according to an official of KMRC, the executing agency of the East-West Metro corridor.