Part extension of Metro Railway to be completed by Sep 2008

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Kolkata, Jan 10 (UNI) The extension of Metro Railway from Tollygunj to Naktala would be completed by September this year and the full stretch up to Garia was expected to be made operational by June 2009,Metro Railway General Manager U C D Shreni said today.

Interacting with the members of the Merchants' Chamber of Commerce (MCC), Mr Shreni said land acquisition problem was the main reason behind the delay of the entire project, scheduled to start operation in March this year.

'' The Tollygunj-Naktala Metro expansion will be finished by September as there is no land acquisition problem in the section but its further extension up to Garia has been delayed because of litigations pending before the court, '' Mr Shreni observed.

He also informed that all the rakes would be replaced gradually in the country's first underground rapid transport system to upgrade the total system, adding the first rake was expected to be available within two years.

'' We are happy that the much-awaited East-West Metro Corridor Project (EWMCP) connecting Howrah with Salt Lake is underway and this Rs 4200 crore project is scheduled to be completed by 2014, '' Mr Shreni said.

To a query on the possibility of increase of fair, he said Kolkata Metro was conceived and implemented with the objective of creating a low-cost rapid transport system to benefit common people but added that proposals in this regard had been made to the Railway Ministry.

Referring to some problems with regard to smart card, he said it had been decided to replace all the checking machines across the stations within one year.

'' There is a lot of scope to improve the existing Metro network.

Its total system could then be upgraded into the GenNext Metro of 21st century with state-of-the-art facilities for passengers, signalling system and security provisions, '' he maintained.

UNI ADG SJC RN1816

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