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Friday, June 14, 2024

India’s First Underwater Metro Route Marks a Historic Moment with Completion of Maiden Run

On Wednesday, India marked a historic moment as the Kolkata metro’s newest line completed its inaugural test run. The line, set to open to the public in November, features the country’s first-ever underwater metro tunnel that passes beneath the Hooghly River in the city’s northeast. The tunnel, 32 meters (105 feet) below the water, spans a distance of 520 meters (1700 feet) and connects the soon-to-open metro station of Howrah Maidan with the existing station of Esplanade on the opposite side of the river. The journey time for this stretch of the metro line will be just 45 seconds. Once open, Howrah Maidan will be the deepest metro station in India, adding another milestone to the country’s rapidly expanding infrastructure under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

To celebrate the successful test run, officials conducted a Hindu religious ritual called a puja, which is believed to bring good luck. A worker broke a coconut, and bright-orange saffron flowers were sprinkled around the conductor’s compartment inside the train. The full metro line through Howrah Maidan will be 4.8 km (three miles) long. Kolkata was the first city in India to have a metro system. This new line marks a revolutionary step in providing modern transport to the people of Kolkata and its suburbs.

Earlier this year, India celebrated opening the first stretch of a new eight-lane express highway linking New Delhi and Mumbai, a major national infrastructure initiative. The first completed section of the road connects the capital with the city of Lalsot in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, a popular tourist destination. In addition, in January, the MV Ganga Vilas ship embarked on the world’s most extended river cruise trip, covering 1,988 miles and sailing on waterways, including the Ganges River.

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