Kolkata: Delayed by several months, the Rs 4874 crore East-West Metro Corridor Project was on Saturday inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

The Metro line will connect IT hub Sector V in Salt Lake to Howrah across the river Hooghly.

"Instead of trying to complete a project by the target date, efforts should be made to complete it ahead of the schedule for the benefit of the people," Mamata said during the inauguration in Subhash Sarobar at Beliaghata in east Kolkata.

Stating that the project was pride of the city, she assured state government's cooperation to Indian Railways, which along with financial assistance from the Japanese government will implement the project.

This line will be constructed and maintained by Kolkata Metro Rail Corporation (KMRC), which was initially a joint venture between the Union Urban Development ministry and the state government but was taken over by the Ministry of Railways.

The Japan International Cooperation Association is funding the project with a long-term soft loan.

According to KMRC Managing Director Subrata Gupta, two sophisticated boring machines brought from Germany would be use for tunneling.

"In the first phase, we will dig two tunnels, one each for the up and down lines. This will start from Subhash Sarobar and terminate at the existing Central Station," Gupta said.

He said the East West Metro Railway, commissioned in February 2009, was scheduled to be completed by December 2014 in two phases each covering a distance of eight km.

In the later phase the tunnel would continue below the river Hooghly upto Howrah.