President Patil to lay foundation of new Kolkata Metro

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Kolkata, Sep 22 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil will on Wednesday lay the foundation of the Metro railway extension project at Joka, located on the city's southern fringes.

The Metro will connect large areas of neighbouring South 24-Pargana district with BBD Bagh and is part of Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee's plan to expand the network.

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee has not been invited for the event.

Bengal Governor M K Narayanan, Mamata Banerjee and Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will, however, be present.

"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," a senior Metro Railway official said.

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.

RITES, a Government of India Enterprise, provides comprehensive engineering, consultancy and project management services in the transport infrastructure sector under the single roof. (ANI)

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