The proposed Noapara-New Barrackpore Metro is finally seeing the light of the day, as Metro Railway initiates Phase 2 of Yellow Line, the 3.6km Noapara-New Barrackpore corridor via airport. Senbo Engineering and ITD Cementation, which is also executing East-West Metro, have emerged as the lowest bidders for the stretch.
Once the entire Yellow Line is operational, the southern point of Metro — New Garia or Kavi Subhas — will get connected to the northern end, Barasat. For now, it will go up to New Barrackpore.
During the last two years, Metro Railway has been busy with Yellow Line’s Phase 1, which covers 6.9km from Noapara to airport and is eyeing a 2023-commissioning. But even amidst hectic construction of the Phase 1, Metro Railway, the implementing agency of Line 4 which has now been christened the Yellow Line, floated tenders for Phase 2 — the 3.6km underground section from airport to New Barrackpore — in January this year.
The Yellow Line or the entire Noapara extension will actually cover 18.1km and eventually link Barasat in the north-east suburbia with mainstream Kolkata, via airport. But the plan is still at the drawing board. Tenders couldn’t be floated for Phase 3 or the New Barrackpore-Barasat stretch because nobody knows when the section will actually take off because of major encroachment along the route. “We are waiting for the state government to help us resolve the encroachment issue along the Barasat stretch. Meanwhile, we have started with Yellow Line’s Phase 2, so that New Barrackpore can be included in the Metro network in the near future,” a senior Metro Railway official said.
The Metro line to New Barrackpore via Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Airport will have two stations — Birati and New Barrackpore. The stretch involves very short tunnelling. So, construction will be in the cut-and-cover method and not through tunnel boring.
The tenders were floated for about 1.1km tunnelling work and another about 0.7km tunnel, construction of tracks, building Birati and New Barrackpore Metro stations and a subway connecting the airport. The subway will connect the terminal building of NSCBI Airport.
The other reason why Metro Railway went ahead with the section because the Noapara-Baranagar-Dakshineswar, or the 4km extension, of the North-South Metro was launched in February last year. The multiple water lines along BT Road, which had sealed the fate of the New Barrackpore extension, have now been removed.
Back in 2020, Metro Railway had invited bids to conduct surveys, geo-technical soil investigation and preparation of designs of the above work. But further progress on the project was stalled because of the pandemic.