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Monday, July 22, 2024

India’s First Underwater Metro Train Launches Commercial Services

The commercial services of India’s inaugural underwater metro train marked by a surge of passengers eager for their inaugural ride.

Operations kicked off from the Howrah Maidan station on the East-West metro corridor of Kolkata at 7 am amidst enthusiastic cheers from commuters, with simultaneous departures from the Esplanade station.

In the early hours, hundreds of commuters flocked to the metro stations to experience the excitement of being part of the ‘first-day first underwater metro’ phenomenon. At Howrah Maidan station, passengers patiently queued up for tickets, while authorities welcomed them with rose stems at Esplanade station.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section of Kolkata Metro’s East-West corridor, marking India’s debut in underwater metro services.

Accompanied by school students, the Prime Minister boarded the train for a symbolic ride. Modi also virtually inaugurated several other Metro services in Kolkata and across the nation.

The Howrah Maidan-Esplanade section of the underwater Metro line boasts the country’s first transportation tunnel beneath a river. Spanning under the Hooghly River, it hosts India’s deepest Metro station at Howrah (30 meters deep).

As the train traversed the under-river stretch, commuters were greeted by the illumination of the tunnel wall beneath the Hooghly River, creating a mesmerizing effect of water surrounding the moving train.

Measuring 520 meters in length, the under-river section of the tunnel is crossed by the train in approximately 45 seconds. This section is also celebrated as India’s maiden transportation tunnel beneath a major river, with the deepest metro station situated at Howrah.

The construction of the East-West corridor commenced in 2009, with tunneling under the Hooghly River initiated in 2017. Meanwhile, the Salt Lake Sector V to Sealdah stretch of the corridor has already commenced commercial operations.

Currently, the Kolkata Metro network spans a length of 47.93 km, comprising 32.13 km of the North-South Corridor, 9.3 km of the East-West Corridor, and 6.5 km of the Joka-Esplanade Corridor. Plans for a 13.27 km extension are also underway, including the inauguration of a 4.80 km stretch from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade by the PM on March 6, alongside an additional extension of 1.25 km from Taratala to Majerhat and a 5.4 km stretch of the New Metro Corridor from Kavi Subhas to Hemanta Mukhopadhyay.

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