Metro Railway, Kolakata is inching closer to completion of the link from Noapara to Dakshineswar. Expected to be commissioned around mid-2020, the work on the 4km stretch from Noapara to Dakshineswar started several years ago, a major stumbling block was encroachment along the way.
The encroachers were finally relocated in February 2018 and work could resume in earnest. There were some other challenges such as shifting of a stretch of the Belgharia Expressway and construction of a new bridge across the Dunlop crossing. Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd (RVNL) is implementing the project.
The newly appointed Metro Railway general manager Manoj Joshi took stock of the progress of various ongoing projects, including the stretch up to Dakshineswar, yesterday. He also instructed officers to focus on these projects by sorting out issues that are coming in the way. “We have to face challenges so as to fulfil our passengers’ expectations,” the new GM said.
“The most critical challenge was to divert a nearly 1.9 km stretch of Belgharia Expressway to construct the Baranagar station. That stretch of the airport-bound flank of the expressway was encroaching upon the Metro viaduct. The old Dunlop bridge also had to be realigned as it was in the way. The older structure could be dismantled only after the new one was constructed and this held up construction. This also happened when the alignment of the Belgharia Expressway was changed. Traffic could not be stopped along this busy corridor,” said Indrani Banerjee, CPRO, Metro Railway.
While the Dakshineswar station is nearly complete, work is on for the one at Baranagar. The Baranagar station was delayed for work on the Belgharia Expressway and Dunlop bridge. According to Banerjee, the viaduct is nearly completed with a junction arrangement for movement of trains towards Barrackpore. The Noapara-Dakshineswar stretch is actually a part of the Noapara-Barrackpore section.
“Now ballast less tracks (BLT) are being laid over an embankment. This work is progressing fast. Our general manager has also spoken about better maintenance of rolling stock to prevent disruptions. By the time the Dakshineswar link is completed, we hope to have sufficient rakes to maintain adequate services,” she added.