KOLKATA: The state government has finally accepted the modified plan for the proposed Mahakaran Metro station and is likely to deliver the site to Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation on Monday. Once it gets the handover, the executing agency will cordon off the area through Monday night and impose traffic diversions from Tuesday.
According to TOI report the new design will now demand a larger space for the station than that planned earlier as the overground entries and exits had to be pushed beyond 100m from the nationally protected monument, Currency Building, as demanded by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). Going by the previous design, the station’s overground structures were to be constructed 85m from the monument.
Apart from dismantling the minibus stand on the east of Lal Dighi, the Metro agency will do away with the proposal of having a southern loop to divert seven south Kolkata-bound routes from Dalhousie Square. “The loss of revenue will be even higher than what we had submitted earlier. We are carrying out a study and will submit a revised estimate that the KMRC has agreed to compensate,” said a state transport department official.
For the construction of the Mahakaran station and other Metro work in the area, 16 tram routes will be suspended over the next three years. Earlier, KMRC had agreed to pay Calcutta Tramways Company a compensation of Rs 11 crore and another Rs 9.5 crore to build loops for diverting trams. The minibuses will now arrive at Dalhousie, halt shortly and drop and pick up passengers before moving to their point of origin. “A Metro station using ‘cut-and-cover’ method takes a little more than three years to build. If we need to start full operation by June 2020, we don’t have that much time, we may have to finish the project in two-and-a-half years. This requires uninterrupted, round-the-clock work. To facilitate speedy completion, we will have to follow a hectic schedule,” said a railway official.
Before deciding on altering the minibus stand site, operators were given three options: to shift to other bus stands, such as Santragachhi in Howrah or Nature Park near Taratala; set up a temporary shed near Vidyasagar Setu, or to drop passengers and return to the originating point with a brief halt at Dalhousie. “The stops will be scattered across BBD Bag and route numbers will be clearly written on boards. A bus on a particular route will be allowed to stop only at its assigned place. It will do away with the chaos that now reigns the area,” said a traffic-and-transportation planning directorate official.