Kolkata: The Rail Budget presented by acting Union Finance minister Piyush Goyal on Friday has come up as a mixed bag for the ongoing Metro projects in the city. The allocation in some projects has gone up, but the long-length Metro projects have been allocated less.
The allocation for the East West Metro has come down from Rs 1,100 crore in 2018 to Rs 905 crore this year. However, the Budget has allocated Rs 10 crore for extension of the EW Metro from Central Park to Haldiram. It is a new project proposed by the state government early in 2018 as an extension of the East West Metro Railway. The move was geared to reduce the traffic pressure on VIP Road.
A detailed project report (DPR) for the extension was prepared and Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation Limited (KMRCL) that was implementing the EW Metro project approved it, following which the Centre’s nod was sought.
The original EW Metro project was from Sector V in Salt Lake to Howrah Maidan. According to the plan, there will be five new Metro stations along VIP Road, namely Baisakhi, Kestopur, Baguiati, Raghunathpur and Haldiram’s. The 6.7 km extension upto Haldiram’s will lead to an additional cost of Rs 1,347 crore.
“We have made it clear to the railways that the plan of the extended part of the project has been chalked out in such a way that there will be no trouble with land. If railways follow our proposed plan for the extension then there is no need to acquire land,” a senior official of the state Transport department said.
The Budget for another big Metro project from New Garia to Kolkata Airport has also seen a drop of Rs 10 crore in comparison to 2018. Last year, the allocation was Rs 355 crore, which has come down to Rs 345 crore this year. Meanwhile, the allocation for the Joka-BBD Bag Metro project remained the same with Rs 100 crore.
The proposed Baranagar-Dakshinsheswar Metro project received a boost with an allotment of Rs 65 crore this year. Not a single penny was allocated for this project in 2018. The allotment for the project from Noapara to Barasat also saw a rise from Rs 187 crore last year to Rs 225 crore.