India’s first underwater metro to be completed by 2022

Kolkata Metro Rail expects to complete its East-West project, which runs partly under the Hooghly river, by March 2022, after project costs doubled due to a series of delays, reported The Economic Times.

Total costs of the project rose to about Rs 86 billion (US$1.2 billion) for some 17km, from Rs 49 billion for 14 km, said the report.

The long-delayed underwater metro in India is slated to be completed by March 2022

The authority is awaiting a final instalment of Rs 200 million over the next two years from the Indian Railway Board, the report quoted Manas Sarkar, managing director at KMRC, as saying.

Part of the project is funded by a soft loan of Rs 41.6 billion from Japan International Cooperation Agency, it added. KMRC will repay the JICA loan over 30 years after an initial six-year moratorium, with the interest rate ranging between 1.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent.

India’s oldest metro, which began operations in 1984 with a North-South service, was due to expand by 2014 but faced problems including squatters on the planned route.

The new line is expected to ferry about 900,000 people daily – roughly 20 per cent of the city’s population – and will take under a minute to cross a 520m underwater tunnel, said the report.

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