India’s first underwater tunnel for Howrah Kolkata Metro almost finishes
The tunneling work under the Hooghly river, the first such underwater project in the country, to provide metro connectivity between Howrah and Kolkata has almost finished. The underwater tunnel is a very important link for the railways’ 16.6-km long East-West Metro project in Kolkata. The 520-metre twin tunnel, one east-bound and the other west-bound, is built 30 metre below the riverbed. Passengers between Howrah and Mahakaran metro stations will enjoy travelling under the river for only about a minute when the metro train will pass through the tunnel at a speed of 80 km per hour. Of the 16.6-km route of the East-West Metro project, the tunneling covers 10.6 km, of which 520 metre is under the river. The underwater tunnel is being built at a cost of Rs60 crore while the total cost of the East-West Metro project is estimated to be around Rs9,000 crore. The tunneling work started in April last year and likely to be completed in the river section shortly, a senior railway ministry official said. The East-West Metro is scheduled to be operational by August 2019.