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Kolkata Metro's Underwater Metro Tunnel Collapses

Infra News - Published on Wed, 18 Sep 2019

Image Source: the better india
Financial Express reported that the Kolkata Metro’s plans to launch the country’s first underwater tunnel was being disseminated, the collapse of a 1.1 kilometer long underground stretch on the East-West Corridor has thrown the project timeline into disarray, with the target of 2021 for operationalisation of services certain to be missed. Work on the other lines under construction, which together with the operational North-South Corridor and the East-West Corridor, were to ensure 100 km of Metro connectivity for the city by 2021, too has been facing issues. The cave-in which occurred in the Bowbazar area on September 3 left more than 30 houses damaged, provoking an outcry, especially as the original route plan didn’t include Bowbazar because of its soil condition. The Kolkata High Court has since intervened to stop work. Experts called in from abroad have blamed an aquifer at the work site for the accident.

An engineer on the condition of anonymity said that “It will take nothing less than a year to clear the debris, stop soil liquification and stabilise the soil.”

The highlight of the East-West Corridor from Salt Lake to Howrah (16.6 km) are the 520-m-long twin tunnels built 30 m below the Hooghly river bed. This underwater stretch is expected to provide commuters a unique experience, on the lines of the Eurostar that links the United Kingdom and France through a rail tunnel beneath the English Channel. The corridor will connect two iconic railway stations, Howrah and Sealdah, and run down the busy lanes of BBD Bagh, Central Avenue and Sector 5 of Salt Lake, West Bengal’s IT hub.

The delay caused by the accident, besides being bad news for a project that was running behind schedule and had seen costs rise from INR 4,876 crore to INR 8,997 crore, is going to prolong the commuting woes of a city that has a Metro length of just 28 km (North-South Corridor) despite being the first in India to get such a service in 1984. It was only in 2010 that new Metro links were planned by the state government. From the seven Metro alignments proposed, the authorities eventually settled for five links: East-West Corridor (16.6 km), Joka-BBD Bag (16.72 km), New Garia-Airport (32 km), Noapara-Airport (2.09 km), and Noapara-Dakshineswar (4.38 km).

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Posted By : Ratan Singh on Wed, 18 Sep 2019
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