Kolkata, Feb 14 West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday that she was hurt at not being informed about the inauguration of the East-West Metro corridor, despite having toiled so hard to get the project approved during her stint as Railway Minister.
Trinamool Congress representatives invited to Thursday's inauguration boycotted the programme alleging that Banerjee was ignored. They also expressed their dismay at her name not being printed on the invitation card.
Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal inaugurated the 4.8 km first phase of the metro route which connects the tech hub of Salt Lake Sector V with the Salt Lake stadium.
"We had worked so hard for the East-West Metro project. I was then Railway Minister in the UPA government. We had to literally shed tears for getting the approval. We had great difficulty in arranging the funds.
"I am not interested on whether my name or picture was there on the invite. I felt hurt as I was not even informed about the inauguration. But I don't have any regrets now. People know what all I had done for the Metro project," Banerjee said in the state Assembly.
Countering Banerjee, Union Minister Babul Supriyo said that metro officials had gone to the state secretariat Nabanna and invited the Chief Minister, who was not in town.
Supriyo said as per protocol, a Chief Minister is formally invited only when the Prime Minister inaugurates a project in that particular state.
After missing several deadlines, the much-awaited East West Metro Railway a part of which when fully commissioned would constitute India's first under-water train line began commercial operation on Friday over the truncated stretch linking six overground stations Sector V, Karunamoyee, Central Park, City Centre, Bengal Chemical and Salt Lake Stadium.
Goyal said at the inauguration that the full stretch is likely to be completed in two years if the bottlenecks were cleared.
Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation Limited is the implementing agency of the project, which is technologically analogous to the Eurostar (connecting Paris and London) and bridges the twin cities of Howrah and Kolkata.
It has been planned to drastically cut down travel cost and time, almost by an hour and a half.
Out of the total 16.60 km, 5.8 km is an elevated corridor and 10.8 km will run underground. The 520 metre twin tunnels under the river are part of the underground stretch.
Once commissioned, people would travel more than a 10 storied building below the water surface for almost half a kilometre across the 460 metre wide Hooghly river.
( With inputs from IANS )