Land acquisition has started for the Rs 900-crore depot for the Airport side of the New Garia-Airport Metro corridor. Construction for the city’s longest Metro corridor’s other terminal is already on at Sonarpur. But the second car depot can’t be built near the terminal Airport station because of restrictions from the Airport Authority of India (AAI).
So, land is being acquired behind City Centre II, away from the terminal station. The elevated corridor covering 32km, linking New Garia (Sonarpur) in extreme south and Airport in the north, via EM Bypass, needs a car depot that will serve as the nerve centre for the project. The state-of-the-art New Town depot, spanning over 17 hectares, will be one of the largest Metro depots in Kolkata, almost as big as the other spacious depot at Joka, which is being built for the Joka-Esplanade Metro.
The double-storey New Town maintenance and stabling facility will house 22 rakes at the same time. “The AAI strictures would not allow the depot to be set up at the terminal Airport station because civil construction would disturb radar signals. There are height issues as well for constructions in the vicinity of the airport,” said an official of Rail Vikas Nigam Limited (RVNL), tasked to implement most of the city’s Metro projects.
Fortunately, searching for land parcels wasn’t difficult because there are already vested government plots in New Town and Rajarhat areas. The rest will be acquired from private owners and hefty compensation paid under the Metro Railway (construction of work) Act, 1978. After acquiring land, around two years will be needed to build the maintenance depot.
“Train inspection, maintenance and washing of rakes will be done here. Since some of the land here is low-lying, the level will be raised by 2 to 3 metres to prevent flooding during monsoon,” said an official. An automatic coach washing plant will be installed at the depot to wash coaches. It will have a waste-water treatment plant that can recycle the water used for washing Metro trains. “Once the depot is ready, it will accommodate a total of 22 trains.
The total track length should be around 15km. The depot will be state-of-the-art, boasting of eco-friendly, green and energy-efficient design,” the RVNL official said. The depot will have two inspection bays, a lifting bay, workshop, bogey shop, wheel shop and an administrative building among other units.