The countdown has begun for East-West Metro’s Phoolbagan extension, with a two-day trial being on between Sector V and Phoolbagan for a likely inspection by the commissioner of railway safety (CRS) later this month.
CRS, under the ministry of civil aviation, grants safety clearance to any new Metro line across the country. Officials said CRS, eastern circle, Abhay Kumar Rai might inspect a 6km section around the middle of this month. If he gives his nod in a week or so, the Sector V-Phoolbagan stretch should be ready for launch by the time the lockdown is phased out. “The formal inauguration can happen only after the lockdown is over. But the CRS inspection has been long overdue. Had it not been for the lockdown, the section could have been thrown open in May,” an official said. East-West Metro’s 5km stretch from Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium is elevated. From there, a ramp at Subhas Sarobar leads the tracks to the underground Phoolbagan station, the network’s first station below the surface.
The first phase of Kolkata’s new Metro—between Sector V and Salt Lake Stadium—was unveiled on February 13, but a substantial number of passengers is expected only after trains start plying till Phoolbagan. Metro Railway had earlier sought CRS inspection till Phoolbagan but the exercise was deferred because of the lockdown.
The CRS is yet to make the precise date of his visit known, but engineers of Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the agency implementing the 16km East-West Metro between Sector V and Howrah Maidan via Hooghly river, and Metro Railway, that’s operating it, have been asked to be prepared for the inspection any time now.
The trial runs on Monday and Tuesday are for checking the signalling software that has been connected till Phoolbagan. East-West Metro has a signalling system like that of Paris and Shanghai underground, allowing trains to run at every two-and-a-half minutes.
Source: Times of India