TMC To ‘Boycott’ Kolkata East-West Metro Inauguration
West Bengal's ruling Trinamool Congress on Thursday decided to protest against denial of invitation to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the inauguration of the East-West Metro corridor with a senior party MP and an MLA deciding to boycott the function, sources said.
Senior TMC MP Kakoli Ghosh Dastidar and MLA Sujit Bose have decided not to attend the programme, they told news agency PTI.
"The East-West Metro corridor project was brainchild of Mamata Banerjee during her tenure as Railway minister from 2009-2011. It was she who had sanctioned the money in Railway budget. Now, when the project is being inaugurated she has not been invited. This is an insult to the people of Bengal," Dastidar told PTI.
According to TMC sources, neither Bose nor Bidhanagar Municipal Corporation Chairperson Krish Chakraborty will attend the programme.
The first truncated phase of Kolkata's East-West Metro Corridor will be inaugurated by Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at 5pm on Thursday, 13 February.
A 4.8 km stretch of the total 16km corridor, which looks to connect the twin cities of Kolkata and Howrah, will be inaugurated by the minister and services for the same will start from 14 February. The operational stretch will connect the city's business hub, Salt Lake Sector V, to the Salt Lake Stadium.
The East-West corridor Metro, once completed, is slated to be India's first underwater metro line with over 10 kms of the line running under river Hooghly.
The project was set to be complete in June 2021, however, it suffered a setback last year when tunneling work for the metro caused an aquifer to burst, leading to building collapses and crumbling of infrastructure in Kolkata's Bowbazar area. Work on the project was stalled after the incident and was allowed to continue by Calcutta High Court on 11 February.
Completion of the entire project may now be delayed to 2022, said a Metro official to PTI.
The stretch that is being inaugurated today has six stations – Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium.
(With inputs from PTI)