Kolkata: The Joka-BBD Bagh Metro has moved a step towards reality, what with 72% of land meant for its depot cumcarshed being acquired and Rs 580 crore (approx US$ 89.9 Million) sanctioned for the construction of the facility. A stalemate over land had almost threatened to derail the project till the government intervened and persuaded farmers to hand over their plots. Now, RVNL (Rail Vikas Nigam Limited), the executing agency of the Metro rail link, is all set to float the tender to build the depot.
- Rajesh Prasad, RVNL executive director said, “Over 72% of the depot plot has been acquired. We can go in for the depot construction now. The tender will be floated in the next 6-7 days.”
- An official said, the construction of the depot was the most urgent as the rolling-stock could not be brought in till the facility was ready.
- He added it would take nearly 3 years to build the depot and yard, with a complex rail-laying as the carshed would have cross-over lines.
- The Rs 580 crore (approx US$ 89.9 Million) sanctioned is part of the total project cost of Rs 2,619.02 crore (approx US$ 406.0 Million).
- An RVNL official said that of the total estimated cost for the Joka-BBD Bag alignment, Rs 50 crore (approx US$ 7.8 Million) was allocated in 2017 and Rs 90 crore (approx US$ 14.0 Million) in 2016.
- State principal secretary (transport) Alapan Bandyopadhyay said,”Metro Rail offered land owners Rs 1.1lakh per cottah for the depot, spread across five moujas of Banogram, Raspunja, Hanspukuria, Kalagachhia and Sakharipota. We offered Rs 16 crore as gap funding, the difference between the price offered by the Metro and current market price.”
- The transport department’s gap funding came to Rs 30,000 per cottah.
- Those obstacles might have been cleared but the project will still require the defence nod when the time comes for the construction of the shaft near Victoria Memorial, where a tunnel-boring machine will have to be lowered for an underground corridor between Mominpore-Esplanade.