Monday, February 22, 2016

Kolkata: Railways minister Suresh Prabhu on Sunday promised to take all steps to improve Metro services in Kolkata. To begin with, he announced more rakes to increase frequency of Metro services during peak hours. Metro Railway, Kolkata, is the only Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) in the country with the Ministry of Railways and Prabhu made it clear that all steps will be taken to improve services. The 16.6 km East-West Metro Corridor between Salt Lake Sector-V and Howrah Maidan is also under the Ministry of Railways now and is likely to be completed (both phases) by August 2019.

"There is the stress of increasing urbanization. People are constantly moving from villages to cities, looking for a better life. For this movement, they need trains. In cities, there is need for better Metro services to keep people moving. We have to bring about change. Apart from funds, what we require is co-operation between the Centre, state governments and local bodies. With 14 new services, Metro frequency in Kolkata will go up. There will be some more announcements in the forthcoming Railway Budget. We will also get more rakes. There is a lot of pressure during peak hours. I have been suggesting to state governments to introduce staggered office timings. This is a holistic approach to bring down the pressure," Prabhu said.

Of the 14 new services, 10 will ply between Dum Dum and Noapara and the remaining between Dum Dum and Kavi Subhas. From 274, the number of services will now go up to 288 on weekdays. The augmentation of services has been planned in a manner that will not require additional rakes or more manpower.

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