The inauguration plaque for Dakshineswar Metro is ready. It reads: “Inauguration of Noapara-Dakshineswar Metro Service extension by Narendra Modi Prime Minister on February 22, 2021”. The plaque in Bengali, Hindi and English adds, “In august presence of Jagdeep Dhankhar, Governor of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister, Government of West Bengal, Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railway … Government of India.”
Modi is expected to flag off the 4km extension of the north-south corridor next Monday. An official in Metro Railway, which is in charge of operations of the city’s rapid transit system, said, “The design is being finalized. It’s subject to last-minute changes should the Prime Minister’s schedule change.”
Metro Railway and Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), tasked to implement most of Kolkata’s Metro projects, are making a foolproof preparation for D-Day. Railway Board has also approved the fare structure that was proposed by Metro Railway soon after the CRS inspection of the stretch on 5 February. As reported by TOI on February 9, the tariff for end-to-end travel (32km) across Kavi Subhas to Dakshineswar will be Rs 25.
The Metro Railway notification read, “Revenue service in Noapara — Dakshineswar section is expected to commence very shortly. Accordingly, competent authority has approved the fare structure of two stations viz. Baranagar (KBAR) and Dakshineswar (KDSW) to be included in north-south Corridor.” KBAR and KDSW are the two codes for the new stations. The fare matrix for Kavi Subhash-Dakshineswar station, along with the applicable fare from Baranagar (KBAR) and Dakshineswar (KDSW) station to the rest 24 stations, is being included in the system.
On Tuesday, representatives from the PMO took a train ride from Noapara to Dakshineswar to shoot a video. They also filmed the new stations — Baranagar and Dakshineswar.
Officials said Modi is likely to take a train ride along the new elevated stretch after flagging off the train that will link the temple town of the northern suburbs with the city’s central and extreme southern parts. No PM has ever flagged off operations of Kolkata’s Metro, which was India’s first underground corridor when it first rolled out on October 24, 1984, from Bhowanipore to Esplanade. From 3.4km, the north-south line has now grown to 28km, stretching across Kavi Subhas in the south till Noapara in the north. The elevated 2.8km Dum Dum-Noapara section was the last addition — in July, 2013.