The underwater metro in Kolkata is almost complete and is expected to start soon. It’s a project that will not only make commuting much faster for the residents of Kolkata but will also put the city on the global map once again because it’s the first underwater metro project in India.

Known as the East-West Metro project, the underwater metro will pass through under the Hoogly river, connecting Howrah and Sealdah Railway Stations – two of the busiest railway stations in the world. The 520 metre twin tunnel is built 30 metres below the riverbed, and it’s being estimated that the passengers commuting from Howrah to Mahakaran metro station are going to travel in about one minute as the train will pass the tunnel at a speed of 80km/hour.

This project is sure to attract about one million (10 lakh) passengers who will use the metro line every day by the year 2035. The tunnel that has been constructed using the world’s finest technology will be ready by 2021, though it’s been in the news for years now since the project’s foundation stone was laid in 2009.

However, it’s been quite a challenge to construct the engineering marvel because it runs under a lot of heritage structures and old buildings with brittle architecture. Though it’s a  complex project, it’s an invaluable asset to a city forever plagued by over flowing traffic. That’s because Kolkata is one of those Indian metropolitan cities, that has the lowest road space to city space ratio.

Operating under the Indian Railways, the first-ever underwater transport along with the East-West corridor of Kolkata Metro spanning from Salt Lake Stadium to Howrah has spent close to 85 hundred crore on this project. About 5 kilometres of the metro line from Salt Lake Sector 5 spanning Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre and Bengal Chemical is ready and has been sent for approval.