India launches its first underwater metro

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently celebrated the inauguration of India’s first under-river metro tunnel in Kolkata, marking a significant milestone nearly four decades after the city launched its initial metro services. Situated beneath the Hooghly River, this tunnel establishes a vital link between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade, connecting two pivotal areas of the city.

The completion of this project enables trains to traverse a 520-meter stretch under the river in just 45 seconds, offering a quicker and more convenient mode of transportation for residents. In commemoration of this achievement, PM Modi, accompanied by school children, embarked on a metro ride from Esplanade to Howrah Maidan.

Construction on the tunnel commenced in 2017, and the 4.8km segment of the East-West Metro in West Bengal was realized at a cost of Rs 49.65 billion (£470 million). The Kolkata Metro aims to initiate commercial operations for the entire East-West route, spanning from Salt Lake Sector V to Howrah Maidan, by June-July.

This milestone underscores the expansion of metro rail services in India, now accessible in 15 cities nationwide. Notably, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation operates an extensive network spanning 393km in the capital city of New Delhi.

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