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Rlys and E-W set-up&ops

Indian Railways has agreed to be involved in the Kolkata Metro Railway Corporation (KMRC), which is entrusted with implementing and operating the East-West Metro corridor, railways minister Mamata Banerjee announced in Salt Lake. 

The West Bengal government and the Union ministry of urban development had together set up KMRC. A few months ago, the ministry of urban development decided to hand over its stake to the railway ministry and sent a proposal accordingly. 

"We have accepted the proposal. I believe that the railways can do a better job in getting the corridor constructed in time. Better coordination will be required between the railways for new stations to come up at Howrah and Sealdah. After all, operational issues of Eastern Railway are involved and services can't be disrupted," Mamata said before laying the foundation stone for the proposed 32-km Metro Railway stretch between Kavi Subhas and Kolkata airport stations. 

According to her, construction of the Metro network in the city and suburbs would progress on schedule if the railways are involved. 

"Otherwise, there is bound to be chaos. Look at what has happened on the proposed Joka-Majerhat Metro Railway stretch. The state government has agreed to hand over tram tracks between Joka and Behala to us but the Calcutta Tramways Company (CTC) has objections. I wonder how a state agency can go against the government's policy," the railway minister said. 

Switching from Swami Vivekananda and poet Sukanta Bhattacharya to even Abraham Lincoln, Mamata said: "Remember Lincoln's great words: You can fool some of the people all the time, and all the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all the time.' People may create hurdles but we shall move ahead wherever we get an opportunity. In the next couple of months, people will judge everybody's performance. I can assure you that Kolkata will change for the better. So will the rest of West Bengal." 

Among those present at the programme was author Sanjib Chattopadhyay. Mamata felicitated Chattopadhyay and handed over a lifetime railway pass to him. 

"We don't wish to evict people. This can only be possible through proper planning. Unless extensive planning is done, no project can be successful," the minister said.