New Year date set for East-West services

KOLKATA: Truncated services of East-West Metro — from Sector V to — are likely to start from the beginning of the next year. Around the same time, tunnelling towards Sealdah will start after dismantling the H-piles under the Esplanade Metro station.

The twin announcements were made by KMRC MD Parashuram Singh at the launch of ‘Swachhata Hi Seva’ programme at the Salt Lake stabling yard on Saturday. KMRC is implementing the Rs 8,575-crore Metro corridor between Howrah and Salt Lake “Now that the crucial train control and management software (TCMS) is being installed, we are looking at January-end or February for commissioning of the services,” Singh said.

A team from Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MEC) of Japan is installing the TCMS and engineers from Germany are integrating it with the brake control system. The loading would be completed by next Thursday and proper trials — at 80kmph — is likely to start from October 1.

On August 30, TOI had reported that the TCMS, which will allow automatic and seamless operations of East-West Metro, was set to be installed from September 3 by a Japanese team from Mitsubishi Electric Corporation and another from Germany’s Knorr-Bremse.

Even as slow test runs were being done in Salt Lake, tunnelling from Esplanade hit a block because of the Hpiles below the north-south station. Removal of the H-piles under the Esplanade station was started on Thursday: “It will take us three months to dig a small tunnel to reach the H-piles and remove them. After removal, the spots will have to be landfilled,” Singh said. An excavation machine has started burrowing the 3.5m-wide and 66m-long passage in the east of the Esplanade site to reach five H-piles blocking the way for tunnels.

The five12m-long steel beams under the Esplanade Metro station were discovered by construction company ITD-Cementation during a geotechnical survey last year. KMRC and the contractors have been trying to find a way to remove the steel beams because the (TBM) can cut through concrete, sand and mud, but not steel.

East-West Metro’s truncated run from Sector V to Salt Lake stadium, which was scheduled before the Pujas, suffered delays because installation of the crucial software, which was scheduled in May, could not be done in time.

Two Japanese engineers from Mitsubishi have started uploading the software since September 3.

“Now it’s for Knorr-Bremse to complete installing the Brake by Thursday. With the software in place, East-West trains will now run a proper trial at 80kmph instead of the ongoing test runs that make it chug at barely 20kmph,” Singh said.

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