Kochi Metro Rail set for commercial operations
Kerala's prestigious Kochi Metro is all set for commercial operations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurating it on Friday.
Claimed to be the country's first integrated multi-model transport system, it is expected to improve regional connectivity and ease the traffic congestion in Kochi, the commercial hub of Kerala. The first phase comprises a 13 km stretch between Aluva and Palarivattom.
Security has been tightened in Kochi city and its surroundings in view of the Prime Minister's visit.
The inauguration of the Kochi Metro will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium at 11 am.
The Prime Minister, who is expected to reach here at 10.15 am, will enjoy a ride on the Kochi metro train from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam. He will return to Palarivattom in the same train along with the dignitaries before proceeding to the stadium for the inauguration, officials said.
Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, Ernakulam MP K V Thomas, and 'Metro man' E Sreedharan will share the stage with Modi, among others, during the inauguration.
Kochi Metro officials said introduction of a world-class metro system in Kochi would enhance the quality of life for the Greater Kochi metro area by improving regional connectivity and reducing overcrowding, traffic congestion, transit time, air and noise pollution. The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), which was started five years ago with the objective of building and running a metro line, is trying to build itself as Kerala's urban transport solutions provider, officials said.
They said by being the first metro system in the country with an integrated multi-model transport system, Kochi Metro will not only give the city a much required face-lift but also provide end-to-end connectivity.
A unique aspect of metro stations will be the deployment of members of Kudumbasree - the women empowerment-oriented, community-based, poverty reduction self-help group project of the Kerala government- for managing the station operations.
Kudumbasree will provide a vast array of services from customer relations, crowd management, housekeeping and catering services, which once operational, will be the largest crew of women to be employed by any metro.
Besides, every metro station has been designed on a specific theme around Kerala culture and geography.