India’s Kolkata Metro Makes History With Its First Underwater Tunnel

Written by Punit Garg


The City of Joy has made history. On Wednesday, the first-ever Kolkata Metro rakes traveled through a tunnel beneath the Hooghly River. A metro rake traversed an underwater tunnel for the first time in the country. “It will be providing a modern transportation infrastructure to the inhabitants of Kolkata and its outskirts is a “revolutionary step,” according to officials.

Only officials rode the Metro rake across the Hooghly River from Kolkata to Howrah. It will be opened to the general public in the upcoming time. General Manager P Uday Kumar Reddy rode the rake from the Kolkata Mahakaran station to the Howrah Maidan station on the East-West Metro line. Unravel the inside story of this historic feat.

Later, another rake followed the same track to arrive in Howrah Maidan. The Metro general manager called it a “historic occasion” and announced that “trial runs between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade station will be done for the next seven months.”

A Short Trial Around the City

The official stated that shortly trial runs would begin on the 4.8-kilometer underground portion. When this section opens, Howrah Maidan will be 33 meters below ground, making it the deepest Metro station in India. He added that the Metro should be able to travel the 520 meters under the river Hooghly in 45 seconds and that the tunnel beneath the river is 32 meters below the water’s surface.

Between the Sealdah and Sector V stations, the East-West Metro route connecting Howrah Maidan and Salt Lake’s Information Technology hub is partially operating. Accidents in the Bowbazar neighborhood of central Kolkata have slowed progress on the entire project. Subsidence and the collapse of several structures in Bowbazar were caused by a tunnel boring machine (TBM) striking an aquifer on August 31, 2019.

An official reportedly told a battery-powered loco would propel metro trains running between Sealdah and Esplanade beginning on Sunday. Since this tunnel has no electrified third rails, this can only be seen from Sealdah and Esplanade. Nonetheless, the metro lines to Sealdah and from Esplanade to Howrah Maidan will operate normally.

A City with Underground Subways

Kolkata’s undersea metro construction has been going on for quite some time. The City is the first in India to have underground subways, and it was already the country’s first metro metropolis. They’ll put it through its paces on Sunday to see if it’s ready for regular transit.

An official with the KMRC stated that of the total length of the East-West Metro, 16.6 kilometers, 10.8 kilometers are underground between Howrah Maidan and Phoolbagan, with the tube going below the Hooghly River.

In the End

The tunnel’s location is 13 meters below the Hooghly riverbed, and using a material that reduces water permeability is also a noteworthy feature. The Kolkata Metro Railway Company, aided by German machinery and top experts, has started on the challenging task of creating the tunnel. But, hopefully, after the successful trial run, it will open up for the public soon.