Kolkata, India (Metro Rail Today): India is on the brink of a significant transportation milestone with the imminent launch of its first-ever underwater metro service, set to be operational by the end of this year. This transformative service will connect the historic Howrah railway station with the bustling heart of Kolkata, Esplanade. The introduction of this underwater metro will not only mark a major achievement in India's transportation infrastructure but also revolutionize the ease of travel between the century-old twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata.
The Metro Railway in Kolkata holds a unique distinction in India, being the only metro system in the country to be controlled by Indian Railways. This collaborative effort aims to provide commuters with a seamless and efficient mode of transportation.
The construction works for most of the stations along the Howrah Maidan to Esplanade stretch, which is part of the East-West Metro corridor, have reached completion. This achievement brings the project one step closer to its grand opening. However, there are some final touches and essential tasks remaining, including electrification, beautification, and miscellaneous works at the station complex. These finishing touches are essential to ensure that passengers experience a safe and pleasant journey.
To facilitate the smooth flow of commuters, the Metro Railway is installing AFC-PC (Automatic Fare Collection and Passenger Control) gates at the concourse level of Howrah station. A total of 32 AFC-PC gates are planned to be installed, with 20 of them being bi-directional. These bi-directional gates will offer station staff the flexibility to manage and alter passenger movement directions during peak hours, ensuring efficient entry and exit for commuters within the paid area of Howrah Metro station premises.
The significance of AFC-PC gates lies in their capacity to handle a substantial number of passengers, with the ability to process up to 45 passengers per minute. These gates will come into operation once commercial services from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade are officially launched, allowing commuters to use their Metro Tokens or Smart Cards for convenient access.
The East-West Metro corridor features several noteworthy stations. The Howrah Maidan station is set to become the deepest metro station in India, representing a remarkable engineering achievement. Meanwhile, the Esplanade metro station holds significant importance as it serves as the interchange point for both the North-South and East-West metro corridors. This strategic location will enable passengers to seamlessly switch between these vital transit routes.
As the countdown begins for the inauguration of India's first underwater metro service, anticipation grows among commuters and transportation enthusiasts alike. This transformative project promises not only to ease the daily commute between Howrah and Kolkata but also to elevate the nation's transportation infrastructure to new depths, quite literally.
For more information and updates on this milestone project, stay tuned with Metro Rail Today.