Kolkata Metro


Kolkata Metro

Infobox Public transit
imagesize = 300px
name = Kolkata Metro


locale = Kolkata, India
transit_type = Rapid transit
began_operation = 1984
system_length = 16.5 km
lines = 2
stations = 17
ridership =
track_gauge = Broad Gauge
operator = Metro Railway, Kolkata

The Kolkata Metro or Calcutta Metro (Bengali: কলকাতা মেট্রো "Kolkata Meṭro") is the underground rail network in Kolkata (Calcutta), India. It is considered to have the status of a zonal railway but is not a zone. It is run by the Indian Railways. It was the first underground built in India with service starting in 1984; the New Delhi Metro, which opened in 2004, is the second.

The line begins at Dum Dum in the north and continues south through Park Street, Esplanade in the heart of the city till the southern end in Tollygunge.

History

The burgeoning transport problem of Kolkata drew the attention of the city planners, the State Government and also the Government of India. It was soon realised that something had to be done and done quickly to cope with the situation. Bidhan Chandra Roy, at that time the Chief Minister of West Bengal, first conceived the idea in 1949 of building an Underground Railway for Kolkata to solve the problems to some extent. A survey was done by a team of French experts but nothing concrete came out. Efforts to solve the problem by augmenting the existing fleet of public transport vehicles barely touched the fringe of the problem as the roads account for only 4.2% of the surface area in Calcutta, compared to 25% in Delhi and even 30% in other cities.Fact|date=February 2008

With a view to finding an alternative solution, the Metropolitan Transport Project (Rlys)(i.e., Railways) was set up in 1969. After detailed studies, the MTP (Rlys) came to the conclusion that there was no other alternative but to construct a Mass Rapid Transit System. The MTP (Rlys) had prepared a Master Plan in 1971 envisaging construction of five rapid-transit lines for the city of Kolkata, totalling a route length of 97.5 km. Of these, the highest priority was given to the busy North-South axis between Dum Dum and Tollygunge over a length of 16.45 km, and the work on this project was sanctioned on June 1, 1972. The foundation stone of the project was laid by Smt. Indira Gandhi, the then Prime Minister of India, on December 29, 1972, and the construction work started in 1973.

Since the commencement of construction, the project had to contend with several problems, such as the unavailability of sufficient funds till 1977-78, relocation of underground utilities, court injunctions, an irregular supply of vital materials, and so on. Finally, Calcutta Metro, India's first and Asia's fifth, became a reality on October 24, 1984, with the commissioning of partial commercial service covering a distance of 3.40 km with five stations between Esplanade and Bhowanipur. This was quickly followed by commuter services on another 2.15 km stretch in the north between Dum Dum and Belgachia on November 12, 1984. The commuter service was extended up to Tollygunge on April 29, 1986 covering a further distance of 4.24 km, making the service available over an overall distance of 9.79 km and covering 11 stations.

However, the services on the north section were suspended on October 26, 1992, as this isolated small section was not attractive to commuters. After a gap of over eight years, the 1.62 km Belgachia-Shyambazar section, along with Dum Dum -Belgachia stretch, was opened on August 13,1994. Another 0.71 km stretch from Esplanade to Chandni Chowk was commissioned shortly thereafter, on October 2, 1994. The Shyambazar-Shovabazar-Girish Park (1.93 km) and Chandni Chowk-Central (0.60 km) sections were opened on February 19, 1995. Services on the entire stretch of Metro were introduced from September 27, 1995 by bridging the vital gap of 1.80 km in the middle.

Features

Technical Features

Metro construction is of a very complex nature requiring application of several new technologies in the fields of civil, electrical, signaling and telecommunication engineering. Indian engineers, backed by their own experience and supplemented by their studies abroad, adopted advanced technologies in the following fields for the first time in India.

* Cut and cover method of construction using diaphragm walls and sheet piles.

* Use of extensive decking to keep the traffic flowing over the cut while construction is in progress underneath.

* Shield tunneling using compressed air and airlocks.

* Ballastless track using elastic fastenings, rubber pads, epoxy mortar and nylon inserts.

* Air-conditioning and ventilation system for environmental control of stations and tunnels.

* Third Rail current collection system for traction.

* Underground substations with dry type transformers and SF-6 circuit breakers.

* Tunnel-Train VHF-radio communication system.

* Micro-processor-based train control and supervisory remote control system for substations.

* Automatic ticket vending and checking system.

Reservation for females

Recently, Kolkata Metro Railways started the practice of reserving two entire compartments for females. [ [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1080907/jsp/calcutta/story_9796361.jsp Metro reserves compartments for females] ]

Salient features

Method of construction

* Cut and cover method of construction using diaphragm walls and sheet piles.

* Use of extensive decking to keep the traffic flowing over the cut while construction in progress underneath.

* Shield tunneling using compressed air and airlocks.

* Ballastless track using elastic fastenings, rubber pads, epoxy mortar and nylon inserts.

* Air-conditioning and ventilation system for environmental control of stations and tunnels.

* Third Rail current collection system for traction.

Rolling Stock

The whole rake is through vestibuled. Rolling stock is from ICF, Chennai and the electricals from NGEF, Bangalore. The rolling stock is unique in that they are the only ones in India with end-mounted cab doors (excepting some of the WAG-6 series locomotives).

ICF has specifically designed, manufactured and supplied these coaches for the Kolkata Metro Underground Railway System. The special features incorporated are:
* Traction power supply through third rail current collection system.
* Automatic door opening / closing and continuous monitoring of the transit.
* Automatic train protection feature which will automatically apply the brakes in case of human failure.
* There is also automatic operation of the train with the driver exercising a supervisory function.
* A public address system is provided on the trains to announce approaching stations. A central controller can contact any of the train crew and also make important announcements directly to passengers over the system.

With all these sophistication built in, the design and manufacture of these coaches to a very high standard of reliability and safety has been a major task. This was achieved without any technical collaboration. The entire formation is capable of carrying 2356 passengers.

Routes

North South Corridor

The stations on the metro (south to north) are :

* Tollygunge
* Rabindra Sarobar
* Kalighat
* Jatin Das Park
* Netaji Bhavan
* Rabindra Sadan
* Maidan
* Park Street
* Esplanade
* Chandni Chowk
* Central
* Mahatma Gandhi Road
* Girish Park
* Shovabazar Sutanuti
* Shyambazar
* Belgachia
* Dum Dum

Extension of North South Corridor

A new route is being constructed to Garia in the south, but has been repeatedly delayed. As of April 2007, reports indicating that it is unlikely to fully open before 2009, although limited service to Pranabnagar (Briji) may start as soon as December 2008 [ [http://www.kolkatascoop.com/story/2007/4/12/53852/9894 Kolkata Community Portal || Kolkata Community Portal - News, Reviews, Comments & Discussion ] ] . The stations to be part of this line are:

* Tollygunge
* Kudghat
* Bansdroni
* Naktala
* Garia Bazaar
* Pranabnagar (Briji)
* New Garia

Fare Structure

Metrorail fare is not fixed, but instead varies based on the distance traveled.Fare structure on Metro Railway was last revised with effect from 01.10.2001 after a gap of 3 years. The present fare structure is as below:

Tickets

The following types of tickets are available.

* Daily Tickets
** Single Person single journey
** Single Person two journeys
** Multi person (from 2 to 7) single journey
** Multi person (from 2 to 7) two journeys

* Multi Ride Tickets
** Limited Multi Ride (LMR) - Valid for 90 days (120 Rides journey available by paying fare for 30 Rides)
** Extended Multi Ride (EMR) - Valid for 90 days (80 Rides journey available by paying fare for 55 Rides)

The above tickets are issued for all three zones.

Automatic Fare Collection

Metro Rail, Kolkata introduced Automatic Fare Collection(AFC) system in August/September'94, with magnetically coded tickets and Passenger Control(PC) system and this has now been extended to all stations from Tollygunge to Dum Dum. A magnetic ticket is dispensed from a Ticket machine. The ticket can then be inserted into an automatic fare-collection gate to get entry into the stations platform. This magnetic ticket is available in six different types:

* Single Ride
* Two Rides
* Twelve Rides (LMR). Limited Multi Ride
* Forty Eight Rides (EMR), Extended Multi Ride
* Multi Person Single Ride (MPS)
* Multi Person Two Rides (MPR)

TOM (Ticket Office Machine) is a machine available at all booking counters from where magnetic tickets are issued. This ticket when inserted into an automatic fare collection gate, gives a commuter entry into the platform.

In case of failure of this system, tickets are issued manually.

Smart Cards

In 2005, Metro Rail, Kolkata piloted the Smart Card-based ticketing system, where a person is issued a smart (probably RFID-chip installed) card, which can be recharged for a certain amount of money. The smart cards automatically determine the distance traveled and deduct the ticket price for that distance from the remaining balance. This was started to reduce the cost of magnetic tickets, and therefore the price of the same journey is Re.3less than that of magnetic tickets.

Proposed East West Metro

East West Metro, a Rs 40 billion project to connect Kolkata with Howrah by an underwater metro line has been cleared by the central government. [http://www.hindustantimes.com/news/181_1847058,000600010003.htm Underwater metro in Kolkata gets central nod] ] This line will be constructed and maintained by a separate body named Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC).

The West Bengal government had earlier appointed Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Limited to conduct a feasibility study of the project after that the government,had earlier put the project on hold because of paucity of funds.A nine-kilometre stretch of the 19-km metro line from Ramrajatala in Howrah to Salt Lake in Kolkata will pass below the Ganga river.The underwater metro plan was first thought of when the first metro service was inaugurated in Kolkata in 1984 by former prime minister Indira Gandhi. The route is to cover 18 stations and go under the river through a tunnel. West Bengal government is currently discussing the project with the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) for the funding of the project

Proposed Route

The proposed 16-km route from the Salt Lake end is: Sector -V, Karunamoyee, Bikash Bhawan, City Centre,Bengal Chemical, Salt Lake stadium(Swabhumi), Phoolbagan, Sealdah station, Bowbazar (BB Ganguly Street), Central (Crosiing existing north-south metro), Mahakaran (BBD Bag), Howrah station and finally Howrah Maidan.

From Saltlake Sector -V to Saltlake Stadium(Swabhumi), the train will run on elevated tracks. Between Saltlake Stadium(Swabhumi) and Howrah Station, it will run underground.

From Central Metro station, it will proceed towards BBD Bag through BB Ganguly Street and take a right turn near Writers Buildings to reach Jagannath Ghat. Between the ghat and Howrah station, the route runs beneath the Hooghly.

ee also

*List of rapid transit systems

External links

* [http://www.kolmetro.com/ Official Website]
* [http://www.urbanrail.net/as/calc/calcutta.htm Urban Rail]

References


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