Dakshineswar Metro, ready for a mid-February opening, will be connected to the existing north-south line in next three days. And the 4km new section and its signalling system will be permanently linked to the existing 27km Noapara-Kavi Subhas corridor.
Sources said the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS), which gives the safety nod to any new Metro across India, is likely to inspect the 4km section next week. Subject to CRS’ nod, the new line may be thrown open to the public in the second week of February.
Ahead of the CRS’s visit, the “electronic interlocking” or EI is being commissioned in the next two days. To ensure a smooth transition, Metro Railway general manager Manoj Joshi inspected the stretch on Thursday. Senior officials of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), the agency implementing most of the city’s Metro projects, and those from Metro Railway, which runs the city’s rapid transit system, were with him. Last week, CRS gave the preliminary or “minor sanctions’’ relating to the two new stations, Dakshineswar and Baranagar.
EI commissioning involves connecting the new system to the operations control centre (OCC) or the “brain” of the existing line. OCCs are central to all Metro operations. A power block is needed to link the new system and its signalling network the centralized panel that controls and determines train movement. For modification of the interlocking system of the Noapara station, which is an operational station, no train will ply out of this terminal on Sunday. From Monday, a uniform signalling system across the 32km Kavi Subhas-Dakshineswar stretch will be in place.
Joshi was noncomittal on the imminent CRS visit: “We have sent our request for inspection. The CRS will give its date.” About the opening date, he said, “We cannot give our report on the system’s readiness without the CRS approval. Only when we get the authorization, can we request Railway Board to allow commercial operations.”
Joshi did a survey of the two new stations and the old one, checking the telecom maintenance rooms, train timing indication boards, customer care centres, escalators and the signalling system. Two rakes consecutively chugged along the section for the first time on Thursday. While the GM, RVNL executive director A K Roy and other officials were on board MR-411 from 10am till 12.30pm, another train, MR-413, was used for a documentary shoot in the afternoon.