The construction of the Esplanade station of East-West Metro commenced on Saturday after a green signal from railway minister Suresh Prabhu who was at Howrah to inaugurate several projects for Bengal. The station at Esplanade will be unique, with an interchange with the existing North-South Metro corridor and the proposed one for the JokaBBD Bag link.
The E-W Metro tracks will pass below the existing North-South ones and will be laid 26.23m below ground level. The existing tracks of the Kavi Subhash-Noapara link are 11.73m below ground level. The proposed tracks for the Joka-BBD Bag stretch will also be 11.73m below the ground.
Among those present with Prabhu were Metro Railway general manager Vishwesh Chaubey , who is also the chairman of Kolkata Metro Railways Corporation Ltd (KMRCL). S N Agrawal, general manager, South Eastern Railway and Satish Kumar, additional GM, Eastern Railway and managing director, KMRCL, were also present.
“The station will be of unique design, with a threelevel passenger concourse in addition to the platform level.The depth of the diaphragm wall will be 37m from ground level. The approximate cost of building the station will be Rs 274.05 crore and the total `footprint area’ -the portion used by commuters -will be nearly 10,560sqm. The underground tunnel from Esplanade will proceed towards Sealdah via Subodh Mullick Square, where a ventilation shaft is being set up,” a senior Metro official said.
Work for phase-I of the E-W Metro between Salt Lake Sector-V and Phoolbagan is proceeding according to schedule and is likely to be commissioned by June, 2018.The stretch was originally planned from Sector-V to Sealdah, but construction of the station at Sealdah will have to wait till the Tunnel Boring Machine from Esplanade reaches there.
Work on phase-II between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade is also proceeding and efforts are on to sort out problems concerning the tunnel under Brabourne Road.
During the day , Prabhu also released a collection by Metro Railway named `Impressions On Print’, as well as brochures by ER and SER.The railway minister also highlighted how the speed of implementation of projects has gone up by more than twice in the last three years.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu on Saturday said.”We are trying to change the situation in the railways which was caught in a vicious circle.We are focusing on investments to improve its financial status and turn it into an efficient service provider.The railways has prepared an investment plan of more than Rs 8 lakh crore. Nearly Rs 3.75 lakh crore of capital expenditure has been finalized to develop infrastructure.”