Situated at a considerable height above the bustling streets of the North Kolkata locality, the Dakshineswar Skywalk offers a unique view of the city. Inaugurated in 2018, this modern engineering marvel has enabled devotees and visitors to the Dakshineswar Kali temple an easy and seamless access over 400 meters. The skywalk has brought together three important transit points in Dakshineswar – the railway station, the bus stand, and the metro station. It has greatly transformed the temple experience for many since it came up. Now, they have direct access to the temple gates without having to navigate congested roads and often chaotic traffic.
Last November, Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd. (RVNL) sought permission from the West Bengal state government to clear and shift structural utilities that included parts of the Dakshineswar skywalk for the proposed extension of the metro viaduct beyond Dakshineswar station, commissioned in 2021.
Mamata Banerjee Vows To Protect Demolition Of Dakshineswar Skywalk
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has rejected this request for land and clearing and shifting of structures by Kolkata Metro that is required for the expansion of this metro line.
At a recent press conference, Mamata Banerjee expressed her strong opposition to the demolition of the Dakshineswar Skywalk. She emphasized its significance to devotees and visitors to the revered Dakshineswar Kali Temple. She has vowed to protect it at any cost and refused to permit interference with the heritage structure. She has informed me that she is open to talks for a solution that does not destroy the Dakshineswar Skywalk.
She also expressed dismay at learning about the proposal through a recent news report rather than an official communication. She directed officials to promptly inform her of such matters in the future, underlining the importance of transparency and timely information.
The Metro Extension Background
The RVNL’s proposal comes in response to Kolkata Metro’s request for extending the viaduct to ensure adequate signal overlap. This extension aims to facilitate smoother train operations between Dum Dum and Dakshineswar which is a crucial segment of the North-South metro line.