Kolkata is one of the most populated cities in the world. So, after the success of underground transport system, popularly known as the Kolkata Metro Railways, a second line was planned. Originally planned in 1971, Kolkata metro line 1 started its operation in 1984. It is also called the Kolkata North South Metro. The line 2, or Kolkata East West Metro, has opened its doors to the general public on 14th February 2020.
Work started way back in 2009, and even now only a small stretch is functional. Presently Kolkata East West Metro operates between Saltlake Sector V and Saltlake Stadium, a total of six stations: Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Saltlake Stadium. It will be extended to Phoolbagan in a few months and to Howrah Maidan in another 2 years.
Line 1 of Kolkata metro was the first underground rapid transit system in India, and line 2 is going to be the first underwater metro of the country. It will connect Sealdah station and Howrah station with Saltlake directly, and will intersect line 1 at Esplanade station.
Traffic jam is a persistent problem in Kolkata, so metro has been a favorite of both commuters and visitors here. Only problem was that the metro was not present all over the city. When line 2 becomes fully operational, this problem will be solved; then we’ll have an economical and comfortable alternative without worrying about traffic snarls.
I was eagerly waiting for the opening of Kolkata East West Metro. I couldn’t make it on 14th February, the first day, so went for a ride on the second day on 15th February 2020. Yesterday I saw the coverage of the first day on TV, and from the words and expressions of the riders it was clear that the entire city was eagerly waiting for this day. One of the passengers was saying that he had been to Switzerland recently and this metro is exactly like the metro there.
So, it is safe to say that our latest metro is truly world class. Kolkata metro started in 1984, 36 years ago. So it is only natural that Kolkata East West Metro will be far more modern and advanced than North-South metro.
Kolkata metro had two big problems: no toilets and lots of suicide cases. Kolkata East West Metro has successfully tackled both these problems. All six stations have toilets and there is a screen door to prevent anyone from jumping onto the tracks. In fact, there is a roughly six feet tall continuous glass wall along the edge of the platforms. The screen doors are a part of this wall. When train doors open, screen doors open in sync and closes as soon as the train doors close. Trains are so technologically advanced that they almost drive themselves; only one driver is present in every train just to oversee the system. Entire network is built keeping the physically disabled in mind. Entire network and every part of every station is wheelchair accessible. Safety is enhanced as well. The train has many new fail safe mechanisms built into it. There are CCTV cameras in every compartment, so both the driver and the control room can monitor every compartment of every train in real time. Fire alarms and evacuation systems are world class as well. The third rails are now covered in sturdy plastic cases, just in case. So, new Kolkata East West Metro is both gorgeous and functional, really something to be proud of. For now, only a small stretch is operational. But even line 1 had begun its journey this way. All in all, I truly enjoyed the experience and I would recommend that you all go and enjoy the same.
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