With a new route/alignment finally chalked out for Kolkata’s east-west metro line, the mini bus stand at BBD Bagh (Dalhouse Square) will temporarily make way for a new station at Lal Dighi (Mahakaran). Similarly, the tram tracks just south of it at Esplanade will make way for a new station at Esplanade which will form an interchange with the existing north-south line’s Esplanade station.
As per the new route, the line’s underground section will run from Howrah Maidan – Howrah – Lal Dighi (Mahakaran) – Esplanade – Mullick Square – Sealdah – Phoolbagan to Subhash Sarovar. Out of this, tunneling for only the twin tunnels between Subhash Sarovar – Phoolbagan – Sealdah sections has been completed. The old route would have connected the Sealdah station with Central station (and formed an interchange with the north-south line), but land acquisition issues prompted the line to be realigned to the new route mentioned in bold.
Here’s a map I’ve made of the new route:
Note: The station at Raja Subodh Mullick square was proposed to be dropped, but I haven’t received any reliable confirmation.
As mentioned before, the Lal Dighi (Mahakaran) Metro station will come up at the location of the mini bus-stand at BBD Bagh (Dalhouse Square). Here’s how it looks like on Google Earth’s satellite imagery:
If you view this post in 2017, instead of seeing the bus stand, you’ll see the underground station’s box!
Traffic Police officials and Transport Department officials have been holding meetings with bus operators to rehouse the affected bus operators. They have been given 3 options: (1) move to other bus stands in the city, (2) set up a temporary shed near Vidyasagar Setu and (3) drop passengers and return to the originating point with a brief halt at the mini-bus stand. So far no decision has been made.
Similarly, the Tram tracks between BBD Bagh and Esplanade will make way for the East-West line’s Esplanade station. Google Earth’s satellite imagery:
Initial barricading and utility shifting work on this section is expected to only begin by the end of the year. As per a reliable source, the TBM from Sealdah towards Esplanade will only be launched in the last quarter of 2016. Once the line is operational in 202x (where x could be any number because it’s umm..Kolkata), the mini-bus stand and tram tracks are expected to return back to their original locations.
For more updates on Kolkata’s Metro, check out the Kolkata section of The Metro Rail Guy!