India’s First Underwater Metro Tunnel in Kolkata

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s first underwater metro section in Kolkata on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. The Kolkata Metro’s Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section is a groundbreaking addition to the metropolitan transportation network, marking the country’s first metro tunnel beneath a significant river. The Prime Minister also took an underwater metro ride with school students and laid the foundation stone for multiple connectivity projects worth ₹15,400 crore.

Key Facts about the Underwater Metro Tunnel

  1. India’s First Underwater Transportation Tunnel

The Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section is the country’s first underwater transportation tunnel, situated beneath the Hooghly River that divides Kolkata and Howrah.

  1. Deepest Metro Station in India

The Howrah metro station, at 30 meters, is the deepest metro station in India.

  1. Vital Segment of the East-West Metro Corridor

The 4.8-kilometer stretch between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade is a crucial segment of the East-West Metro corridor, connecting key areas, including the IT hub Salt Lake Sector V.

  1. Cost and Construction

The 4.8-km stretch was built at a cost of ₹4,965 crore. Of the total 16.6 km of the East-West Metro corridor, 10.8 km is underground, including the tunnel beneath the river.

  1. Rapid Transit Time

The train is expected to traverse the 520-meter stretch under the river in just 45 seconds, offering speed and a seamless, time-efficient mode of transportation.

Prime Minister’s Interaction with Students and Metro StaffDuring his journey on the underwater metro, Prime Minister Modi interacted with school students and metro staff. The students expressed their excitement about meeting the Prime Minister and traveling with him on the underground metro. The Prime Minister was accompanied by West Bengal BJP president Sukanta Majumdar and state Leader of Opposition and BJP MLA Suvendu Adhikari.

In addition to the underwater metro, PM Modi inaugurated the Kavi Subhash-Hemanta Mukhopadhyay section of the New Garia-Airport line and the Taratala-Majerhat section of the Joka-Esplanade line of the Kolkata Metro, the country’s oldest metro network.

Historical ContextThe concept of an underwater transportation system in Kolkata, similar to London’s, was initially proposed by the British engineer Sir Harley Dalrymple-Hay in 1921, according to researchers. India’s first under-river Metro, Kolkata Metro’s Green Line, opens after over 100 years of its initial proposal.

 


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