Kolkata Metro is the first metro in India. Kolkata was the capital of India till 1911 under British rule. This is a very beautiful and well-known city in India, also known as the ‘City of Joy’. Kolkata is the first city in India where the first underground railway construction was thought, because of the increase in the number of road users.
It has the surface area for roads as only 6% as compared to 25 % for Delhi and even 30 % for other cities in India. Therefore, the lack of surface area for new road construction was the most important reason which forced to think about the construction of the Kolkata Metro Rail.
The Kolkata Metro work started from the year of 1972. The rail route was made to connect Dum Dum and Tollygunge, a distance of around 16.45 km. There are 17 stations in between the route, out of 17 stations, 15 stations are underground and two end stations Dum Dum and Tollygunge are at the ground level.
The trains have a maximum running speed of 80 km per hour, with an average running speed of 30 km per hour. The frequency of availability of the train at the station is less than 2 minutes during peak hours. It is estimated that nearly 5 to 7 lakh passengers are carried daily for a 16.45 km length route. The total time taken to travel 16.45 km is only 33 minutes, which would be challenging to achieve by any other surface-based system.
Kolkata Metro is also the fifth metro in Asia. It increased its route length around 4 km on October 24, 1984, including five stations in between Esplanade and Bhowanipore.
Further, on November 12, 1984, they include another 2 km route length in the North between Dum Dum and Belgachhia. The passenger service was extended up to Tollygunge on April 28, 1986, covering a distance of about 8 km. The metro railway line was fully commissioned for public use on September 26, 1995.
Kolkata Metro faced some serious problems because it was the first underground railway construction project of its kind taken up in India without any experience and definite knowledge.
Delay in the construction of the Kolkata Metro and the increase in construction cost were taken place mainly due to the combined effect of the following three problems
(i) Complex subsoil conditions,
(ii) Inadequate flow of funds, and
(iii) Land acquisition problems.
The following are the important features of Kolkata Metro:
1. All trains have automatic over-speed protection with a cab signaling system.
2. All trains have a uniform class of accommodation.