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PM Narendra Modi may flag off West Bengal’s 1st Vande Bharat, Joka Metro | Kolkata News

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KOLKATA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi might flag off the Joka-Taratala section of Joka-Esplanade Metro and Bengal’s first Vande Bharat Express between Howrah and New Jalpaiguri on December 30, railways officials said on Thursday.
Modi is slated for city visit on December 30 for the National Ganga Council meeting.
Officials said Modi might virtually inaugurate the two key projects-the city’s third Metro line and Bengal’s first Vande Bharat Express-along with others, including the redevelopment of Jalpaiguri station, Dankuni-Chandanpur and Sagardighi-Malda doubling.
The 6.5km Joka-Taratala segment was to be flagged off by Union home minister Amit Shah last Saturday but a last-minute hitch pushed it back. Metro Railway and RVNL have now been asked to keep the system ready for the commissioning on December 30. Officials, led by Chandrima Roy, principal chief operations manager, H N Jaiswal, AGM, Metro Railway, and A K Roy, executive director, RVNL, on Thursday visited the Joka-Taratala section.
The Vande Bharat rake is due to be ferried from Chennai’s Integral Coach Factory (ICF) for Howrah station. The semi-high speed train will run six days a week, starting from Howrah at 5.50am and reaching NJP at 1.50pm. From NJP, the train will start at 2.50pm and reach Howrah at 10.50pm. It will have stops at Bolpur and Malda. “This will be the first indigenously-built semi high-speed rail in Eastern Railway and North Frontier Railway,” a railway official said.

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