The City of Joy, Kolkata, saw the inauguration of India’s first underwater metro today, by Railway Minister Piyush Goel.
This marked the debut of the second metro line in the city.
The metro line runs between Salt Lake Sector V and Howrah, which is known as the East-West Corridor in Kolkata.
The underground metro stretches from Phoolbagan station up to Howrah Maidan, and has a total of six stations in between, including Phoobagan, Sealdah, Esplanade, Mahakaran, Howrah, and Howrah Maidan.
It spans a total of around 16 km, with a part of it (around 10 km), running underwater in River Hooghly.
While underwater, the train runs at a depth equivalent to a ten-storey building.
The underwater stretch for train comprises of twin tunnels of 1.4 metres made with wide concrete rings that have been further fitted with hydrophilic gaskets to prevent water from entering the tunnels.
The first of its kind in the country, the metro train is said to be at par with the likes of Eurostar that connects London and Paris.
A staggering ₹8,500 million is said to be the cost of this pathbreaking metro project.
It is estimated that this metro will ply around one million passengers daily and will cut down the travel time between Salt Lake to Howrah from an hour to less than 30 minutes.
As per the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), this is among the many “firsts” in the country with regards to railway development.