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Metro rail to change the face of Kochi

Staff Reporter

Safer mode of urban transport


To be finished in 3 years, it will cost Rs. 3,000 crore

VS to hold talks with Union Ministers next week


KOCHI: With the State government giving in-principle clearance earlier this week for the proposed elevated light metro-rail project for the city, there is light at the end of the tunnel as the project has been hanging fire for the past three years.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan and Minister for Law, Railways and Sports M. Vijayakumar will hold discussions with Union Ministers next week on how to go about the project, which will make commuting in Kochi comfortable, faster and pollution-free.

Mr. Vijayakumar told The Hindu that consultations will be held with the Centre on whether to go in for a joint initiative of the State and Central governments or opt for a build-operate-transfer method to execute the project.

Implementing agency

“The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) will be the implementing agency. The cost of the project will hover around Rs.3,000 crore,” he said.

The project, which can be ready in three years, would have cost Rs.2,239 crore had work begun two years ago. The 24-km elevated rail will pass through Kalamassery, Edapally, Madhava Pharmacy junction, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Ernakulam South and Sahodaran Ayyappan Road.

As the city expands, the rail can be extended up to Thripunithura in the east, Fort Kochi in the west, Angamaly in the north and Aroor in the south of the city in the next 10 years.

Fastest urban transport

A senior officer of the corporation said the Delhi metro was a joint venture project of the Centre and the Delhi government. “Government funding, as was done in New Delhi, is the best for the Kochi metro. It is the fastest mode of urban transport – the average speed is 40 km/hour. It is safer than other modes of transport and does not impede road traffic. The energy needed per passenger is one-fifth of that required by road transport. It replaces six lanes of bus traffic and 22 lanes of car traffic. The light metro rail can carry 24,000 people each hour in a direction, as compared to 6,000 through the skybus.”

One station every km

The metro rail will have a station every kilometre. . Escalators will link the elevated stations with the footpath. Regular passengers will be given season tickets.

District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish said that steps must be taken to freeze the land in areas through which the metro rail passes to prevent new buildings from coming up.

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