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Over the years, India has seen significant developments in its railway infrastructure. In addition to the long-distance routes, many cities have a local railway network. For Mumbai, it is the popular Mumbai Local Train. For Delhi, it’s the metro rail network. Kolkata, however, has come up with a first-of-its-kind transportation system. The city recently inaugurated the country's first underwater metro service. This landmark project, connecting Howrah and Salt Lake via a tunnel beneath the Hooghly River, marks a new era in urban transportation and signifies India's growing prowess in engineering marvels. In this blog, we will have a closer look at the project along with its engineering and financial aspects.

Underwater metro: an engineering feat

Built by Kolkata Metro, India’s first operational rapid transit system, it is the second-busiest metro network in India. The project, spanning a distance of 4.8 kilometres, boasts several noteworthy features. Here are some of them.

  • Underwater Tunnel: The 520-metre underwater tunnel, a first of its kind in India, facilitates seamless connectivity beneath the bustling Hooghly River.
  • Deepest Station: The Howrah Maidan station, situated 33 metres below the surface, holds the distinction of being the deepest metro station in India.
  • Modern Technology: The metro line incorporates state-of-the-art technology, including automatic train operation (ATO) and platform screen doors for enhanced safety and efficiency.

What did the underwater metro cost?

The project, conceived in 2010, comes at a total cost of ₹4,965 crores. This financial commitment signifies the government's dedication to improving urban infrastructure and fostering economic growth in Kolkata and its surrounding regions.

Benefits of Kolkata underwater metro

The Kolkata underwater metro is expected to bring numerous benefits to the city and its residents:

  • Reduced Traffic Congestion: By providing a faster and more efficient mode of transport, the metro is expected to significantly ease traffic congestion on Kolkata's roads, leading to reduced travel time and improved air quality.
  • Enhanced Connectivity: The metro line connects previously underserved areas, facilitating easier access to various parts of the city and boosting economic activity.
  • Economic Growth: The project is expected to generate employment opportunities and stimulate economic growth in the region through construction, operation, and ancillary services.

What lies ahead

The successful completion of the Kolkata underwater metro serves as a testament to India's growing engineering capabilities and its commitment to developing world-class infrastructure. This project paves the way for similar advancements in other major cities, potentially revolutionising urban transportation and shaping the future of Indian infrastructure development.

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