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Image: Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani (encircled) during the visit to under-construction Joka Metro station. 

Kolkata: RAILWAY authorities have once pushed back the deadline for throwing open the Metro railway route from Noapara to Dakshineswar on the northern fringes of Kolkata.

During an inspection of the under-construction Metro route by Railway Board chairman Ashwani Lohani today, it was decided that the 4.38 km Noapara-Dakshineswar Metro route will be commissioned by September next year.

Earlier in December last year, Metro Railway general manager Ajay Vijayvargiya had announced that the Metro route will be thrown open by May 2019.

The deadline has been pushed back further in view of the present status of the construction which has suffered several years delay owing to encroachments on railway land along the Metro alignment. The encroachments were removed by Kamarhati Municipality last year, speeding up the construction.

Apart from Noapara, Lohani today inspected the under-construction Airport-New Garia and Joka-Majerhat Metro projects.

Central PSU, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd, which is implementing the Joka-Majerhat project, told the Railway Board chairman that it will take them time until 2020 to commission this Metro route provided the state government hands over the entire 25-acre land required for the Metro car-shed at Joka. Portions of the land identified for the Joka car-shed are under encroachment.