Kolkata Underwater Metro: India’s First Subaquatic Transport System

Kolkata Underwater Metro

Kolkata: Today marks a historic day for India as the country’s first underwater metro service begins its operation in Kolkata. The Prime Minister will inaugurate the Kolkata Underwater Metro, which will run about half a kilometer under the Hooghly River, connecting the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah.

A Feat of Engineering

The Kolkata Underwater Metro is a result of years of research, planning, and construction by the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) and its partners. The project involved building a tunnel under the river, which was a daunting challenge for the engineers and workers.

According to the KMRC, an underwater tunnel was to be built for the first time in the country, hence there was a need for a machine that could bear the pressure of water falling from above and also prevent water from coming in during the construction. It was the biggest challenge. Earlier, there was no danger of water coming into the tunnels built in many cities of the country, hence the tunnels were built with ordinary machines.

To overcome this challenge, the KMRC conducted studies in more than 13 countries, which are experts in underwater technology. These mainly include America, England, France, Germany, Japan, Russia, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. Its designing and planning took 360 days.

The tunnel work started in April 2022 and was completed in June 2023. There was not a single day of closure after the tunnel work started. 1500 workers have constructed the tunnel in three shifts. Shifts were also changed from hand to hand, that is, when the second engineer or employee sat in the machine, only then the first one would leave.

The tunnel is made of reinforced concrete segments, which are joined together by bolts and gaskets. The tunnel has a diameter of 5.5 meters and a thickness of 275 mm. The tunnel is equipped with fire-fighting systems, ventilation systems, and emergency exits.

A New Experience for Commuters

The Kolkata Underwater Metro will offer a new experience for commuters, who will be able to travel under the river in a matter of minutes. The metro will have 16 stations, of which 12 are underground and 4 are elevated. The total length of the metro line is 16.6 km, of which 10.8 km is underground and 5.8 km is elevated.

The underwater section of the metro line is 520 meters long, of which 244 meters is under the river bed and 276 meters is on the river banks. The metro will run at a speed of 80 km per hour and will take about 25 minutes to cover the entire line.

The metro will have six coaches, each with a capacity of 300 passengers. The metro will have modern features such as CCTV cameras, automatic doors, LED displays, and PA systems. The metro will also have Wi-Fi connectivity, mobile charging points, and digital maps.

The metro will be accessible to all, with facilities such as ramps, lifts, escalators, and tactile tiles for the differently-abled. The metro will also have dedicated spaces for women, senior citizens, and children.

The metro will operate from 6 am to 10 pm, with a frequency of 5 minutes during peak hours and 10 minutes during non-peak hours. The fare will range from Rs 10 to Rs 40, depending on the distance traveled.

The Kolkata Underwater Metro is expected to reduce traffic congestion and pollution in the city, as well as provide a faster and safer mode of transport for the people. The metro is also expected to boost the tourism and economy of the region, as it will offer a unique attraction for visitors.

Kolkata Underwater Metro

The Kolkata Underwater Metro is a proud achievement for India, as it showcases the country’s engineering and technological prowess. It is also a testament to the vision and dedication of the KMRC and its partners, who have overcome various challenges and risks to make this project a reality. The Kolkata Underwater Metro is not just a transport system, but a symbol of India’s progress and potential.