It’s with sadness that I write this, but it must be covered. When the All India Trinamool Congress (TMC) was in power in the centre, its head and now Chief Minister of West Bengal approved multiple metro lines as the Railway Minister. These were approved without any due diligence, forecast of funding or rehabilitation plans for people affected by the project. Now one by one, these issues are coming up and work has been delayed at multiple areas (at some for more than three years) due to the TMC’s hands-off land policy. Their refusal to remove encroachers has delayed these projects (which they had pushed & approved a couple years ago) indefinitely and there just isn’t any solution in sight.
While piers have come up for all the other new lines (eg. New Garia-Airport, BBD Bagh-Joka), the line to Barrackpore from Noapara hasn’t even take off. This is because the TMC run Calcutta Municipal Corporation refuses to rehabilitate the 12.5 km Tallah-Palta water pipeline on BT Road despite signing an agreement with the Indian Railways (IR). This issue has been present since 2012 and there hasn’t been any movement since then. The original deadline was 2016 but not a single construction contract has been handed over since the IR knows that the bidding process would be futile without receiving a clear site.
It’s the middle of 2015 and until there’s a radical change in the city like..umm..a change of governance through the Assembly Elections of 2016, we can bid adieu to this line.