India’s first-ever underwater river tunnel train is expected to be fully functional within a few months. The project was completed at a cost of approximately Rs. 8,600 crore.
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The Hooghly river’s underwater tunnel, India’s first, is expected to be completely functional within a few months. The Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) has expanded its East-West corridor to include the twin tunnels, which would traverse the Hooghly river for around 500 meters.
The underwater metro train, India’s first of its kind, has been likened to the Eurostar, which links London and Paris. According to estimations, the train will be immersed to a depth similar to a 10-story structure. The underwater part of the metro line will be made up of twin tunnels made of 1.4 m-wide concrete rings. Hydrophilic gaskets have been installed to further keep water from infiltrating the tunnels.
The project was completed at a cost of around Rs. 8,600 crore and is expected to be functional by March 2023. The tunnel will be 13 meters below the Hooghly riverbed and made of a material that reduces water permeability.
The Howrah metro station will be the deepest in the country, measuring 33 meters. Hauz Khas on the Delhi Metro is now the deepest, at 29 meters. There will also be exits in the tunnel for situations such as earthquakes.
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Union Minister Smriti Irani recently inaugurated a new underground metro station for the East-West circuit in Sealdah. The railway would now have four new subterranean stops at Esplanade, Mahakaran, Howrah, and Howrah Maidan. The tunnel will traverse the Hooghly river in less than a minute between the Mahakaran and Howrah stations.
The train will significantly reduce travel time. The Kolkata Green Line is now just 6.97 kilometers long, connecting Phoolbagan and Sector V in east Kolkata. Nonetheless, thanks to this endeavor, the train will traverse a longer distance from Sector V to Howrah, under the Hooghly river, in just 27 minutes.