India’s First Underwater Metro Inaugurated In Kolkata: All You Need To Know

India's First Underwater Metro Inaugurated In Kolkata: All You Need To Know

The 16.6-kilometre-long corridor will connect Howrah and Salt Lake, Kolkata’s twin cities

West Bengal’s Kolkata welcomed India’s first underwater metro train today.

  1. Kolkata’s new underwater metro is 16.6 km long. About 10.8 km runs underground from Howrah Maidan to Phoolbagan, including the tunnel under the Hooghly River, making it the deepest in the country. The rest is above ground.
  2. Stretching over 4.8 km, one section connects Howrah and Salt Lake, providing a vital link between these twin cities. 
  3. The underwater metro has six stations, with three of them underground.
  4. The metro covers a 520 m river stretch in just 45 seconds, promising a quick and efficient mode of transportation.
  5. The train uses Automatic Train Operation (ATO), a cutting-edge system where the train advances to the next station when the motorman presses a button. 

The ticket prices for the underwater metro start at just ₹ 5 for the first two km. Then, it goes up in easy tiers of ₹ 5, ₹ 10, ₹ 15, ₹ 20, ₹ 25, and so on – reaching a maximum of ₹ 50. 

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While the part between Esplanade and Sealdah is still under construction, the operational stretch from Salt Lake Sector V to Sealdah is up and running. Kolkata Metro plans to start the full East-West route between Salt Lake Sector V and Howrah Maidan in June or July.

“The interior of the tunnels has been specially illuminated with blue lights in a bid to give passengers an impression of an underwater world. At least 40 figures of illuminated fishes have been set up on the interior walls. Plans are also afoot to give some special sound effects in this under-water section,” said an official.

The concept of an underwater transportation system, akin to London’s, was initially proposed by the British in 1921, according to researchers. The 4.8-km stretch of the East-West Metro from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade, built at a cost of Rs 4,965 crore, is a testament to engineering ingenuity and a historic advancement in India’s metro infrastructure.

Kolkata Metro is the first metro system in India which became operational on October 24, 1984.

In April 2023, the Kolkata Metro made history by running a train successfully through the tunnel beneath the Hooghly River. 

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