Kolkata East-West Metro is Online: An Underwater Engineering Marvel Gets Connected -2024

{ Kolkata Metro, Underwater Metro, Kolkata East-West Metro, Howrah Metro Station, Airtel 5G underwater, Deepest Metro station India}

India’s Deepest Kolkata East-West Metro: Experience Airtel’s Underwater Network

Kolkata, India’s cultural hub, is getting a major transportation upgrade in the form of the East-West Metro line. This ambitious project breaks new ground – literally – with a section running directly under the Hooghly River. But it’s not just about getting from point A to B; Airtel is stepping in to ensure passengers stay connected throughout this unique journey.

Kolkata East-West Metro

India’s Deepest (and Largest!) Metro Station: Howrah

The centerpiece of the underwater section (Kolkata East-West Metro) is Howrah Metro Station, an engineering marvel in its own right. Here’s why it stands out:

  • Deepest in India: Built at a depth of 30 meters to align with the underwater tunnels.
  • Largest in India: Boasts a massive 54,000 square meters of space to handle the expected huge passenger numbers.
  • Predicted busiest: Designed to manage a peak flow of over 43,000 passengers per hour.

Why So Deep? It’s not just about showing off! The tunnels had to go deep enough under the river to maintain a safe, steady route, and the station had to match that alignment.

Airtel Brings 5G to the Depths of Kolkata East-West Metro

Airtel is the first telecom provider to tackle the challenge of providing seamless connectivity within this underwater environment. Their solution?

  • High-Capacity Nodes: Deployed 35 meters below the Hooghly River for uninterrupted service along the entire underwater metro stretch.
  • 5G Ready: Commuters can enjoy the full benefits of 5G speeds, even underwater.
  • Fiber Backbone: The entire 4.8 km stretch between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade stations is connected with fiber for reliability.

What This Means for Commuters

No more dropped calls or choppy streaming under the river! Airtel’s network ensures you can:

  • Stream HD videos without buffering breaks.
  • Game online with friends seamlessly.
  • Chat and share photos instantly as you travel.
  • Stay productive if you need to work on the go.

Quote from Ayan Sarkar, CEO of Bharti Airtel West Bengal and Odisha: “This initiative… will make a difference to commuters [and] offer … high-definition video streaming, gaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos… along with enjoying the scenic stretch below river Ganga.”

Kolkata East-West Metro

The Underwater Metro Experience

Imagine gliding beneath the bustling Hooghly River, surrounded by history and aquatic life on Kolkata’s newest transport route. With Airtel, you won’t miss a beat of your online world as you enjoy this unique commute.

Overcoming Challenges: Building an Underwater Metro

Constructing a metro line beneath a river is no small feat. Here’s a glimpse into the key challenges and how engineers tackled them:

  • Water pressure: Tunnels and stations must withstand immense pressure from the water above. The solution involved careful design, reinforced materials, and sophisticated sealing techniques.
  • Aquifers: Underground water sources posed a threat during excavation. Engineers used advanced dewatering and ground-freezing techniques to manage them.
  • Integration with Howrah Station: Building a new metro station within India’s busiest railway station required meticulous planning to minimize disruption to existing services.
Kolkata East-West Metro

A Global Perspective: Underwater Rail Systems

Kolkata isn’t alone in its underwater ambitions. Here’s how Kolkata East-West Metro compares to similar projects around the world:

Metro SystemCityCountryRiver Crossing
East-West MetroKolkataIndiaHooghly River
ThameslinkLondonUKRiver Thames
MarmarayIstanbulTurkeyBosphorus Strait
PATH TrainNew York/New JerseyUSAHudson River

Kolkata’s metro stands out due to its station depth and the sheer volume of passengers it’s designed to accommodate.

Kolkata East-West Metro

The Economic Impact of Kolkata East-West Metro

Projects like the Kolkata East-West Metro aren’t just about convenience; they have a ripple effect on the entire city’s economy. Here’s why this underwater line matters:

  • Reduced Traffic Congestion: Kolkata suffers from heavy traffic, especially in areas surrounding the Howrah Bridge. The metro offers a faster, more reliable alternative, easing pressure on roads.
  • Improved Connectivity: The East-West line links major hubs like Howrah Station, Esplanade (downtown Kolkata), and Sector V (the city’s IT hub). This boosts accessibility and productivity.
  • Job Creation: Massive infrastructure projects like this generate jobs, from construction workers to metro staff and associated businesses.
  • Tourism Potential: The unique underwater experience could become a draw for tourists, further benefiting Kolkata’s economy.

Safety First: Kolkata East-West Metro Precautions

When traveling through any tunnel, safety is paramount. Here’s how Kolkata’s Metro ensures passenger well-being in this unusual environment:

  • Emergency Evacuation Plans: Detailed procedures are in place for emergencies, with clear escape routes and trained personnel.
  • Fire Suppression Systems: Stations and trains are equipped with advanced systems to detect and fight fires quickly.
  • Ventilation: Robust ventilation ensures fresh air circulation and maintains air quality within the tunnels and stations.
  • Regular Safety Drills: Staff conduct drills to ensure readiness in any situation.

The Future of Underwater Transportation

Kolkata East-West Metro project demonstrates the feasibility of underwater travel. Could we see more of this in the future? Here’s what experts think:

  • Growing Urbanization: As cities become denser, underground and underwater transport offer space-saving solutions.
  • Coastal Cities: Metros under rivers or harbors could be ideal for cities located on water bodies.
  • Technological Advancements: New tunneling and underwater construction techniques make these projects more feasible.
  • Environmental Considerations: Metros offer a greener alternative to cars, potentially helping tackle climate change concerns.

Beyond Kolkata East-West Metro: Potential Underwater Metro Projects

While still relatively uncommon, here are a few places where underwater metro lines are being considered or are already under development:

  • Mumbai, India: A potential undersea line to connect South Mumbai with Navi Mumbai.
  • Helsinki, Finland – Tallinn, Estonia: A proposed tunnel beneath the Gulf of Finland could create a high-speed rail link between the two capitals.
  • Guangzhou, China: An underwater metro line is currently under construction beneath the Pearl River.
Kolkata East-West Metro

FAQs: Kolkata East-West Metro

Q: When will Kolkata East-West Metro open?

A: Expected to start passenger service in June 2024.

Q: Does the entire East-West Metro line run underwater?

A: No, only a 4.8km section between Howrah Maidan and Esplanade station goes under the river.

Q: Is Airtel the only network provider for the underwater metro?

A: Currently, they’re the only one confirmed, but other telecom companies may follow suit.

Q: How deep are the underwater tunnels?

A: Approximately 40 meters below the riverbed.

Q: Why was the Howrah Metro station built so large?

A: To accommodate the massive expected passenger flow, the largest of any station on the line.

Q: Is there anything special about the design of Howrah Station?

A: Yes, its theme is “Gateway to Kolkata” and the primary color used is red.

Watch the Web story on East-West Metro :


Kolkata East-West Metro, with its groundbreaking underwater section, is a testament to modern engineering. Airtel’s commitment to providing seamless connectivity beneath the river makes this commute even better, ensuring passengers a smooth journey both physically and digitally. This project not only enhances transportation in Kolkata but also serves as a model for future underwater infrastructure around the world.

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