Kolkata Metro announces increase in fares

Travellers using the Kolkata Metro, for journeys longer than two kms, will now have to shell out more, with an increase in fares being announced after a gap of six years

Commuters using the Kolkata Metro will now have to shell out more for travelling longer distances, as it announced an increase in fares after a gap of six years, on November 26, 2019.

While the minimum fare of Rs 5 was left untouched for the first two-kilometre journey, it has been increased to Rs 10 for the next three kilometres, metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said. The fare has been increased by Rs 5 for all the subsequent stages from the existing rates, Banerjee said. The new fare will come into effect from December 5, 2019, she said.

The Kolkata Metro, the oldest rapid transit system in the country, runs both air-conditioned and non-AC rakes in the north-south axis of the city over a distance of over 27 kms from Noapara to Kavi Shubhash station.

 


Kolkata East-West Metro corridor likely to be delayed by a year: Official

Completion of Kolkata’s East-West Metro corridor is likely to be delayed by up to one year, due to the accident when an aquifer burst in the Bowbazar area during drilling operations in August 2019, a senior KMRC official has said

November 20, 2019: The 16.6-km-long Kolkata East-West Metro corridor, connecting the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah, may now be completed only by mid-2022, a senior official of the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC) said. “The project was scheduled to be completed by June 2021 but we are apprehending that it may get delayed by approximately six months to one year,” the official said.

Technical experts are working on a roadmap, for resumption of work on the Bowbazar stretch, he said. “Our priority is restoration work in the affected area. An expert team is working on the resumption of tunnel boring work at the site,” he added. The official said that there was no plan to change the route of the East-West Metro due to the accident, as only one km of tunnelling work was left to be completed. He said that the KMRC authorities were expecting to finalise a plan, to restart work for the rest of the tunnel ‘very soon’. Several buildings at Durga Pituri Lane and Syakra Para Lane in Bowbazar area of central Kolkata had collapsed or developed cracks, owing to the accident on August 31, 2019, when an aquifer broke during tunnel boring and water and silt gushed in, leading to severe ground subsidence in the vicinity.

 


Kolkata East-West Metro: HC allows tunnel-boring machine to be moved by up to 5 metres

The Calcutta High Court has allowed the Kolkata Metro to move a tunnel-boring machine, which has been stuck at Bowbazar area, following an accident

November 19, 2019: The Calcutta High Court, on November 18, 2019, allowed the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC) to move a tunnel-boring machine by up to five metres in the city’s Bowbazar area, where an aquifer burst in August 2019, during drilling operations, leading to the collapse of several houses. The KMRC had moved the high court, seeking its permission to move the machine for maintenance work.

A division bench comprising chief justice TBN Radhakrishnan and justice Arijit Banerjee, directed the KMRC to work in accordance with the recommendations of an expert committee on shifting of the boring machine. The bench directed the KMRC to submit a report on completion of the work by December 16, 2019, when the matter will be taken up for hearing again.

 


Kolkata East-West Metro: Shifting of tunnel-boring machine will not cause further damage, say experts

A committee of experts has informed the Calcutta High Court that a tunnel-boring machine, which has been stuck at Bowbazar area following an accident, can be moved without causing further damage

November 18, 2019: A committee of experts, on November 15, 2019, submitted a report to the Calcutta High Court, certifying that a tunnel-boring machine (TBM) can be shifted at Bowbazar, where an aquifer burst during tunnelling, leading to the collapse of several houses in August 2019. The committee, comprising experts from various countries, said in its report that shifting of the TBM by up to five metres, for maintenance of the machine was required and would be done under its supervision. “The committee members are of the unanimous opinion that the shifting of the TBM by about five metres will not result in soil subsidence and will as such not affect life or property above the ground over the distance over which the machine is proposed to be shifted,” said the report submitted by the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC).

To ensure protection against any such eventuality, the committee proposed that the ground around the TBM be sealed with polyurethane grout and the work be carried out under the supervision of the committee which will be represented on the site by its chairman throughout the operation. The report said additional monitoring points will be installed on the surface and below at the location to detect any ground movement at depth.

 


Kolkata Metro seeks HC’s permission to move tunnel-boring machine at Bowbazar

The Calcutta HC has asked for expert opinions on the feasibility of moving a tunnel-boring machine at Bowbazar, after the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation sought the HC’s permission to move the machine

November 11, 2019: The Calcutta High Court division bench, comprising chief justice TBN Radhakrishnan and justice Arijit Banerjee, on November 8, 2019, asked the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) to submit expert opinions by November 15, 2019, on the feasibility of moving a tunnel-boring machine at Bowbazar, where an aquifer burst during tunnelling, leading to the collapse of several houses in August.

The KMRC said the boring machine has been at the site since the August 30 accident and is required to be moved by five metres, to ensure it remains functional. The metro corporation sought the court’s permission, as the HC had ordered the KMRC to not commence work in the tunnel, without its approval.

 


Kolkata Metro records biggest footfall of 9.22 lakh commuters, during Durga Puja

The Kolkata Metro carried 49.5 lakh passengers during the Durga Puja days and recorded its highest footfall of 9.22 lakh commuters on October 3, 2019, an official revealed

October 10, 2019: The Metro Railway Kolkata registered its ‘highest-ever’ footfall of 9.22 lakh commuters on October 3, an official said, on October 9, 2019. It carried 49.5 lakh passengers during the Durga Puja days, from ‘Chaturthi’ to ‘Navami’ (October 2-7, 2019), spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said.

The Metro Railway Kolkata earned Rs 4.8 crores during this span, a 10.7% rise from the figures posted in the corresponding period of 2018, she said. The 49.5-lakh passenger count is 5.7% more than the number of people it carried in the previous year, Banerjee said. On October 15, 2018, it had carried 9.07 lakh commuters, which is the second-highest footfall in its history, the spokesperson added.

 


Kolkata East-West Metro work mishap: 27 buildings identified for demolition in Bowbazar area

The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation has said that 27 buildings will need to be demolished in the Bowbazar area, after underground construction work on the East-West Metro caused damage to several houses

September 20, 2019: A technical committee set up by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) has identified 27 buildings for demolition, at Bowbazar area in central Kolkata, where tunnel boring work caused damage to several houses, a senior official said, on September 19, 2019. The panel, after studying 70 buildings, decided that 27, including the ones that have partially collapsed, have to be demolished, KMRCL general manager, administration, AK Nandy maintained.

“The technical committee, which submitted its first report on Wednesday (September 18, 2019), has found another 27 buildings of those inspected to be unaffected,” Nandy stated. Several houses collapsed or developed cracks in the congested Bowbazar area, after a tunnel-boring machine engaged in the East-West Metro corridor project hit a water table leading to seepage under the foundation of the houses.

 


East-West Metro: HC restrains Kolkata Metro from carrying out construction without its nod

The Calcutta High Court has directed the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd not to resume underground construction for the East-West Metro corridor without its nod

September 18, 2019: A division bench of the Calcutta High Court, comprising chief justice TBN Radhakrishnan and justice Arijit Banerjee, on September 17, 2019, directed the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) not to resume underground construction for the East-West Metro corridor without its nod and also directed the KMRCL and West Bengal government to file separate reports before the court, by November 7, 2019, when the matter will be again taken up for hearing. Several buildings had collapsed or developed cracks in the congested Bowbazar area of central Kolkata, after a tunnel-boring machine engaged in the East-West Metro corridor project hit a water table, leading to seepage under the foundation of the houses.

The KMRCL was directed to give details about the steps it had taken, to stop further damage to the affected area and future plans ensuring safe construction work for the metro corridor. The high court asked the West Bengal government to state in the report its disaster management infrastructure to deal with such situations and what it has done, to mitigate the problems faced by residents of the affected Bowbazar area.

The KMRCL counsel told the division bench that 688 people were relocated from 78 damaged buildings, while 83 families were handed over Rs 5 lakhs each, as interim compensation. The counsel submitted that water seepage in the affected area had been stopped by Indian engineers and experts from overseas, who were brought in soon after the incident on August 31, 2019.

 


Kolkata East-West Metro completion may get delayed due to underground drilling problems

In a setback to the Kolkata East-West Metro, the underground drilling for a tunnel on the line, which was expected to be completed by December 2019, is likely to be delayed by a year

September 4, 2019: Underground drilling for a tunnel of the East-West Metro corridor project in Kolkata, is likely to be delayed by over a year, after a boring machine operating in the Bowbazar area hit a water table and stopped functioning, a senior official said, on September 3, 2019. At least five houses collapsed, owing to ground settlement from seepage during the tunnel-boring work on September 1, 2019, the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC) said.

See also: West Bengal Apartment Ownership Act amended, to enable housing associations to form federations

“It is delayed. It could be one year or little more than a year, because of the (congested) area. Our target (to complete the entire East-West Metro) is 2021. We had a deadline to complete this tunnel work by December,” KMRC managing director, Manas Sarkar said. “At the moment, our only intention is to contain the damage as much as possible. Retrieving this (tunnel-boring) machine will be extremely difficult, as this is a very congested area,” he said.

The portion of a building collapsed in the congested Bowbazar area in the central business district of the city, while several others subsided or developed cracks, during tunnel boring work for the metro project on September 1, 2019. The building collapsed entirely on September 3, 2019.

 


Kolkata East-West Metro to ferry 1 million people a day by 2035: Railway official

The Kolkata East-West Metro will ferry 1 million passengers per day by 2035, a Railways official has said, adding that the stretch between Salt Lake and Howrah will be operationalised soon

July 25, 2019: The 16.6-km Kolkata East-West Metro will ferry an estimated one million passengers per day by 2035, a senior Railway official said, on July 24, 2019. The project, to be completed by 2021, will also have the county’s first underwater tunnel. The 520-metre twin tunnel, one east-bound and the other west-bound, is built 30 metres below the riverbed.

See also: West Bengal metro rail projects to be completed by 2022

“According to our estimation, by 2035, one million passengers will be using this metro line every day,” the official said. The official also said that the 5-km stretch between Salt Lake and Howrah, was inspected on July 23, 2019 and would be operationalised soon.

 


Kolkata Metro: Trial run on a stretch of the East-West route successful

Commercial services on a three-km stretch of the Kolkata Metro’s East-West route is likely to begin soon, following a successful trial run

July 6, 2018: The first trial run on a section of Kolkata’s East-West Metro route, has passed off without any glitch, an official said, on July 5, 2018. With the successful trial run, commercial service in the three-km stretch, between Salt Lake Sector V and the Stadium, is likely to commence soon. The East-West Metro route is 16.6 kms long, from Sector V in Salt Lake City to Howrah Maidan, across the river Hooghly.

“The first of the five rakes to be used for commercial service in the first phase, went through a glitch-free trial run on the stretch,” East-West Metro director (rolling stock) Anup Kumar Kundu said. Rake, tracks, third rail connection and several other components were checked, during the first run and were found to be flawless, he said. “This is one of the fastest trial runs among metro lines in the country, with only 2.5 months having been taken, from receiving a rake to putting it on trial run,” Kundu said.

See also: Kolkata Metro completes tunneling under heritage buildings

While the Metro authorities have received two state-of-the-art coaches from the manufacturer, one more is expected to arrive within a few days, he said. “The other two rakes are likely to reach within a month or two,” he said. Metro Railway general manager Ajay Vijayvargiya had earlier said passenger services from Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium, which is part of Phase I of the East-West Metro, are likely to be introduced by Durga Puja, in October 2018.

Construction work from the Stadium to Phoolbagan will be complete by March 2019, after which, this part will be handed over to the Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) for trials, he said. Vijayvargiya had said work was progressing very well and the entire project is likely to be completed within two years.

The East-West Metro project of the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Ltd (KMRCL) has been witness to prolonged delays, for various reasons – from clearances to land acquisition issues. Completion of construction of tunnels under river Hooghly in June 2017, was a major milestone for the project, which will have a 10.8-km underground corridor, while the rest would be elevated. The first phase of the Kolkata Metro in the North-South route was commenced commercially on October 24, 1984. The route now covers 27.23 kms, from Noapara in the north to Kavi Subhash station in the southern part of the city.

 

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