Kolkata: Kolkata Metro's first rake arrived at the Howrah Maidan and it was operated through a tunnel under the river Hooghly on a trial basis, officials informed on Wednesday.
"Kolkata Metro created another history on April 12, 2023. After a long wait Country's first Metro has run under the mighty river Hooghly on Wednesday. For the first time in India Metro has completed the river journey," an official statement said.
"This is a historic moment for Metro Railway as after overcoming many hurdles we have succeeded in running rakes beneath the Hooghly River," Kaushik Mitra, the chief public relation officer of Kolkata Metro, said.
"This is a revolutionary step in providing a modern transport system to the people of Kolkata and its suburbs. This is indeed a special new year gift from Indian Railways for the people of Bengal," he added.
"Trial run on the 4.8 kms underground section from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade will begin soon. We are hoping to launch commercial services on this corridor this year. Once launched, Howrah will become the deepest Metro station (33 meters below the surface) in the country," Mitra pointed out.
"The Metro is expected to cover the 520-meter stretch under the river Hooghly in 45 seconds. This tunnel under the river is 32 meters below the water level," he said.
Officials said that the operationalisation of commercial services on the stretch can be expected in the year 2023.
"P Uday Kumar Reddy, General Manager, Metro Railway travelled from Mahakaran to Howrah Maidan station in Rake No. MR-612 to witness this historic event. This rake crossed river Hooghly at 11:55 hrs. Reddy offered puja at Howrah station once the rake reached there," they added.
On the occasion, General Manager P Uday Kumar Reddy informed that trial runs from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade will be conducted for the next seven months.
"Later, Rake No MR- 613 was also taken to Howrah Maidan station. Terming it a historic event, General Manager has informed us that the trial runs from Howrah Maidan to Esplanade and will be conducted for the next 7 months. After that regular services on this stretch will begin," it said.
Earlier in 2022 Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) said that the East-West Metro Corridor project, India's first underwater metro service, is expected to be completed by December 2023.