Metro Railway Kolkata has resumed work on the stretch between Noapara and the city airport that is scheduled to be commissioned sometime in 2021. The Noapara- Airport link is crucial as it will not only have the largest underground railway yard in the country (at the airport) to handle the trains from three directions but also connect to Barasat in the city’s northeastern suburbs.
“During the lockdown, we provided all assistance to the labourers living at the project site for the Noapara-Airport link. Not only did they receive rations, cooking gas and clean drinking water, medical assistance was also provided with regular screening.
Quarantine units were set up and the labourers were provided with masks, sanitizers and trained in maintaining social distancing. Even now, when work has resumed, all social distancing norms are being maintained,” said Metro Railway CPRO, Indrani Banerjee.
This stretch, though not too long, had several challenges. One of these challenges was the removal of encroachers from railway land and demolition of structures along the way. Permission also had to be obtained from the civil aviation ministry to set up the yard at the airport.
For this, Airports Authority of India (AAI) had to shift certain utilities, holding up the project for nearly a year. Two flyovers used by Circular Railway trains to connect to the airport in the past are also being brought down now. Over the last couple of days, PSC box girders of these flyovers were brought down.
“We have successfully lowered box girders along a 20-metre stretch. The girders of the abandoned flyovers, weighing 400- 450 tonnes, were brought down using a road crane of 600 tonne capacity. The speed will pick up in the coming days. We shall have no trouble regarding workforce as many have started returning to their jobs.
Metro Railway is also holding meetings with RVNL and other agencies regarding the resumption of construction work at other sites. Apart from the projects in the North-South corridor, work is also underway for Phase-II of the East-West Metro Project,” said another Metro official.