The East-West Metro line has also got additional funding of Rs 905 crore for the next financial year. Other metro routes that have got the funding in the state budget include the New Garia-NSCBI Airport link, scheduled for completion by June 2021, and has been allotted Rs 328 crore. Apart from this, the Noapara-Barasat line has received a grant of Rs 200 crore. The 16.6-km Joka-BBD Bag route, connecting the south- eastern suburbs of Behala with the heart of the city, has been granted Rs 99 crore, and the Barrackpore-Baranagar and Dakshineswar stretch, covering a distance of 14.5 km, allotted Rs 10 crore. In January 2019, the Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC) had unveiled an indigenously built prototype coach that boasts double the speed of the existing rakes, amenities for the differently abled and reduced chances of a collision. The sleek, all air-conditioned prototype coach, manufactured by Bengaluru-based BEML, has in-built features to take a wheel-chair bound person directly inside the compartment, facilitated by platforms with ramps for the differently abled.
This new train will have six coaches and would run at a maximum speed of 80 km/hr, double the speed limit of 40 km/hr of the existing North-South Metro.
Trains on this stretch will have a frequency of 2.5 minutes during peak hours.
The coaches will be operated by Communication-Based Train Control (CBTC) technology from the control room at the KMRC Central Depot at Salt Lake. This will make the driver’s role limited to overseeing passenger movement and opening and closing of doors.
According to Electrical Engineer Prasenjit Chakraborty at KMRC, these coaches would be 2.88-metre wide with a total seating capacity of 268 and standing capacity of 1,782. There will be four CCTVs in different parts of every compartment.