East-West Metro’s Phoolbagan extension received the mandatory safety clearance from the Commissioner of Safety (CRS) on Wednesday (17th June 2020). The section would be launched when the lockdown ends and commuters can zip from Sector V to Phoolbagan in 16 minutes flat, for only Rs 20.
The 6km will thus bring a meaningful ridership for Kolkata’s Line 2 because it takes more than an hour to travel the stretch by buses and autos. The truncated 5 km from Sector V to Salt Lake stadium of the East West Metro was inaugurated in February, but the much-awaited service couldn’t attract significant number of passengers. Adding Phoolbagan Extension to East-West Metro also means Kolkata getting its first underground Metro station after 25 years.
Manas Sarkar, managing director (MD), Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), the agency implementing the 16 km Sector V-Howrah Maidan East-West Metro, said, “The date of the inauguration has not been decided yet. The CRS has made certain observations which must be complied with before the section can be thrown open to the public. But this is certainly a big day for the East-West Metro project.”
CRS, NF-eastern circle, Abhai Kumar Rai, inspected the stretch yesterday (Friday, 19th May 2020). CRS, under the ministry of civil aviation, gives safety clearance to any new metro line in India. Wearing a mask, Rai had walked the 1.66km tracks between the elevated Salt Lake Stadium station and the underground Phoolbagan station.
East-West Metro’s 5km stretch till Salt Lake Stadium is elevated. From here, a ramp at Subhas Sarovar leads the tracks down under to Phoolbagan station, which is the metro’s first underground station. The section under the CRS’ scanner was actually 3 km mostly underground stretch of the 16km East-West Metro, between Salt Lake stadium station and Sealdah crossover via the underground Phoolbagan station.
The Salt Lake Stadium station till the ramp section at Subhas Sarobar was built by Gammon India while the stretch from the ramp till the Sealdah crossover underground section was built by ITD Cementation. Once the approved section and becomes operational, it will extend the newly inaugurated 5 km Salt Lake-Sector V by 1.7 km to 7 kms (till Sealdah crossover) through Phoolbagan station.