Home Economy Kolkata Metro to venture under the Ganges

Kolkata Metro to venture under the Ganges


New Delhi : It was a dream come true for Kolkatans with the central government Thursday approving a Rs.46.76 billion, 13.77 km east-west corridor for the Kolkata Metro, a part of which will run under the Ganges river.

“I am very happy because now one can go straight from Howrah to Salt Lake to watch football,” a beaming Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters after a meeting of the cabinet here presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The project, eight km of which will run underground and 5.77 km will be elevated, will be completed in six-and-a-half years by a joint venture company to be formed by the centre and the West Bengal government.

“A special purpose vehicle (SPV) will be constituted for successful execution of the project as well as its operation and maintenance,” the minister said.

“The SPV will be a joint venture company of the central government and the West Bengal government, with equity participation of 50:50 by them,” Dasmunsi added.

“The project will be completed in two stages. The first stage of the 5.77 km elevated section would be commissioned in five-and-half-years,” the minister said.

“It is a really great day for the people of West Bengal and for the people of Kolkata in particular,” Dasmunsi said of the project.

“I am very, very pleased because I have been dreaming of this ever since the metro project was launched in 1971,” the minister said, pointing out that he had once represented the Howrah constituency in the Lok Sabha and now represents Raigunj, also in West Bengal.