Three-month breather for East-West Metro’s Salt Lake

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KOLKATA: The Commissioner of Railway Safety (CRS) has allowed Metro Railway to launch East-West Metro’s Salt Lake section anytime between December and February.
Last month, Metro Railway had written to the CRS to extend the validation period for unveiling the Sector V-Salt Lake stadium stretch by three months. The validation period for unveiling the 5km elevated stretch ended on November 30. Knowing they would not be able to make it within the stipulated period, Metro Railway on November 21 wrote to chief commissioner of railway safety SK Pathak to extend the validation period for three months. CRS, under the ministry of aviation, is an autonomous body that clears any new Metro line across India. Missing a CRS deadline is rare, but Union minister Babul Supriyo had said that efforts were on to unveil the section soon and getting the CRS to extend its deadline wouldn’t be a problem.
Pathak has now written to Metro Railway GM that “considering the constraints on the part of Metro Railway, validity of sanction on the subject section is hereby extended for a further period of three months beyond November 30, subject to the following terms…”
One of the terms is that “public carriage on this line should be introduced by February 29 . Else, Metro Railway will have to approach the CRS for revalidation of this section. This means the CRS will inspect the section all over again and give its nod if East-West Metro’s Salt Lake section isn’t launched by then.
Although the project is being implemented by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), operations will be handled by Metro Railway, the organization that runs the north-south section or Kolkata’s Line I. For nearly two months now, Metro Railway has been independently conducting a series of pre-commissioning trials, starting with the service trials on October 15. On November 30, Suneet Sharma, officiating GM, Metro Railway, who is also Eastern Railway’s general manager, had visited the section. He is believed to have expressed complete satisfaction over the readiness of the Sector V-Salt Lake Stadium section. But a lot of formalities has to be done before the unveiling. Hence, the request for extension of validation period.

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