Kolkata, Sep 22 (ANI): President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday said in a city, the metro rail is an effective system of transport, giving people a convenient, comfortable and an affordable mode of travel.
Speaking after laying the foundation of a new metro line that will connect South Kolkata with centre of the city, Patil said: " As the urban population has been increasing, the metro service will substantially reduce the pressure on other modes of transport.
"It is essential to have mass transport and transit systems that facilitate movement within city. In their absence city dwellers would depend on private transportation leading to congestion, pollution and more fuel consumption," Patil added.
She underlined the need for timely completion of the project and execution of it in a manner that does not disrupt the normal life.
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the extension of metro railway in Kolkata will be carried out in four phases at an estimated cost of 12 thousand crore rupees.
He informed that the Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure headed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has already cleared all these expansion programmes of the Kolkata metro.
The Joka Metro Rail project will connect large areas of neighbouring South 24 Parganas district with BBD Bagh and is part of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's plan to expand the network.
The 16.72-kilomtre new stretch will help lakhs of people commute from the extreme south to the central business district. The Metro Railway in Kolkata is the first underground mass rapid transit system in the country and the only one under the Ministry of Railways.
The total estimated cost of the Joka-BBD Bag project that was sanctioned in 2010-11 is Rs 2,619.02 crore. This new route will run overground along Diamond Harbour Road.
The Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd entrusted with commissioning the project has completed the survey and soil testing of the stretch between Joka to Majerhat through RITES.
The tendering process for the project has begun and it should be completed by 2013-14. (ANI)