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Published On: Sat, Jun 17th, 2017

Kochi gets Metro, PM Modi flags off Kochi rail service, takes ride

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603326-pm-narendra-modi-kochi-railKOCHI : Kerala took a big leap in modern urban transport infrastructure development on Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioning the first phase of the Kochi Metro rail service along a  13.2-km stretch between Aluva and Palarivattom.

Modi, who cut the ribbon at the Palarivattom station, shook hands with Vijayan and Sreedharan before proceeding to board the metro train. During the journey, Modi waved at the crowd as Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd Managing Director Elias George interacted with him.Considered as the fastest completed metro project in the country, Kochi Metro, the flagship transportation infrastructure project of Kerala, will start its regular operations from June 19. Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had laid the found
The Prime Minister also took a short inaugural ride on the Metro, accompanied by Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Urban Development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation principal advisor E. Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Limited Managing Director Elias George, among others.

After dedicating the project, PM Modi addressed the gathering where he stressed on the need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land use and transport.Inaugurating the Kochi Metro rail, Prime Minister Modi said it is “futuristic infrastructure that will contribute to India’s growth”.

He described as noteworthy the selection of nearly 1,000 women and 23 transgenders to work in the Kochi Metro Rail System. “Modi, in his address said his government has placed special focus on overall infrastructural development of the nation.Mr. Modi said the city, known for its historical spice trade and as a hub of tourism, was ideal for the establishment of the Metro, as its population was expected to touch 23 lakh by 2021
“In Pragati meetings, I have personally reviewed nearly 175 projects worth more than Rs 8 lakh crore and resolved bottlenecks,” he said, referring to his ambitious multi-purpose and multi-modal platform PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation).

Modi said his government was also focussing on “next generation infrastructure which includes logistics, digital and gas.”The prime minister, who began his speech in Malayalam, said he was happy to be part of the inauguration of the project. He said Kochi was selected as a Smart City in January 2016. “I hope it will do even better in the days to come,” he said.

Kochi, the queen of the Arabian Sea, was once an important spice trading centre. Today it is known as the commercial capital of Kerala, the prime minister said. Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is a 50-50 joint venture of the Centre and the state government. The Centre has so far released over Rs 2,000 crore for the project. The coaches reflected ‘Make in India’ vision. They have been built by Alstom near Chennai and have an Indian component of around 70 per cent, he said.

ation of the project on September 13, 2012 and the construction began in June, 2013 during the tenure of the previous Congress-led UDF government headed by Oommen Chandy, who was conspicuous by his absence today.
The new transport system is expected to enhance the quality of life for the Greater Kochi metro area by improving regional connectivity and reducing overcrowding and traffic congestion. With 11 stations covering nearly 13 km – from Palarivattom to Aluva – this is the longest first phase of a metro to be inaugurated.
Kochi-1 smart card, country’s first metro to have a open-loop card that can be used outside the metro system, was launched on the occasion. A Kochi1 mobile application that will link metro commuters with various traffic modes was also launched.


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