The project will connect twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata through an underground tunnel
The tunnelling for the mega infrastructure East West Metro project here has been completed. On Saturday, the tunnel boring machine, ‘Urvi’, pierced the diaphragm to complete the Howrah-bound tunnel.
“With this breakthrough the entire TBM tunnelling for the Kolkata East West Metro Project is completed. The stretch was difficult for the work as it had century old buildings. This challenging tunnel drive of 800 m has been completed successfully amidst this pandemic situation following COVID-19 protocol,” a press release by PIB said on Sunday.
East West Metro is a mega infrastructure project that will connect the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata through an underground tunnel below the Hooghly river bed.
The mega project to connect Howrah Maidan with Rajarhat Salt Lake area will cost about ₹8,474.98 crore. Of the 16.6 km line, about 10.8 km will be underground and the remaining will be an elevated corridor. Boring of tunnels under the river Hooghly to connect Kolkata and Howrah has been successfully completed in March 2017. These two tunnels running parallel to each other about 37 metre below the riverbed of Hooghly is what makes the project most interesting.
With the tunnelling of 10.8 km complete, two biggest railway stations Howrah and Sealdah have been connected.
In September 2019, cracks started appearing in a number of buildings in Bowbazar and the tunnelling work had to be postponed. The East West Metro was commissioned in 2008 and it had taken almost 12 years in the entire process of completing in the tunnel process.
Meanwhile, the first phase of the East West Metro from Salt Lake’s Sector V to Salt Lake Stadium was opened in February and in October it was extended from Salt Lake Sector V to Phoolbagan in the city.