On inaugural day, PM dedicates Kochi Metro Phase I to nation

On inaugural day, PM dedicates Kochi Metro Phase I to nation
Kerala shifted tracks to a new phase in urban transport infrastructure on Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating the first phase of the Kochi Metro to the nation.

Before the formal opening of the 13.26-km stretch between Palarivattom and Aluva, Modi took a ride on one of the trains. 

Addressing a gathering at the inaugural event’s venue in Kaloor, he highlighted the features of Kerala’s first metro rail network, which makes it unique.The Kochi Metro is the first such project commissioned with a communication-based train controlling signalling system.  The Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has provided jobs to about 1,000 women and 23 transgenders.

Long-term plan

“The project is also an example of environment-friendly development. It plans to meet nearly 25% of the entire energy requirements from renewable sources, particularly solar energy. The long-term plan is to achieve a zero-carbon emitting urban transit system,” the prime minister said.

Modi said 50 cities in the country were ready to implement Metro rail projects, and foreign investments had been invited to the urban public transport sector.

He said the National Transit Oriented Development Policy, issued in April, aimed to create compact walkable communities and bring public transport closer to transit.

Ride for labourers

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan acknowledged contributions of migrant labourers in the construction of the Metro and requested KMRL to facilitate a ride for them.

Lauding the project coordinators for finishing the work on schedule, the chief minister said the Kochi Metro sent out a message to potential investors that development projects could be completed in a time-bound manner in Kerala.

He sought assistance from the Union to further the state-Centre association to pursue the development agenda, while acknowledging the Centre’s “positive” approach to development.

In a veiled reference to earlier uncertainties over the prime minister’s presence at the event, Vijayan said people who created the controversy were left “disappointed”.

The Kochi Metro will begin commercial operations from Monday.

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