Kochi underway, PM Modi says 50 cities ready for Metro

The Prime Minister said there is a need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land-use and transport.

Written by Shaju Philip | Kochi | Updated: June 18, 2017 5:26 am
kochi metro, kochi metro inauguration, narendra modi kochi metro, metro man sreedharan, e sreedharan,kerala metro, kerala news, latest news Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan with others at the inaugural function of Kochi Metro at Kaloor stadium in Kochi on Saturday. Express Photo by Nirmal Harindran

Inaugurating the first phase of Kochi Metro for commercial operation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said 50 cities in India are ready to implement Metro railway projects in an effort to enhance public transport.

“Foreign investment has been invited in this sector (and) 50 cities in India are ready to implement Metro rail projects,” Modi said in his address.

In line with the government’s “Make in India” vision, Modi said, efforts are being made to promote domestic manufacture of Metro’s rolling stock. The coaches of Kochi Metro reflect the “Make in India” vision, having been manufactured by Alstom of France at their factory near Chennai, he said. He pointed out that they have around 70 per cent Indian component.

The Prime Minister said there is a need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land-use and transport. He also called Kochi Metro’s decision to employ nearly 1,000 women and 23 transgenders “noteworthy”.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan lauded the Centre for its “positive approach’’ towards development and said, “There is no politics in matters of development. It was the stand of the state government that the Prime Minister should inaugurate Kochi Metro.”

Earlier, Modi took the Metro and travelled for six km along with CM Vijayan, Governor P Sathasivam, Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, DMRC’s principal adviser E Sreedharan, Kochi Metro managing director Elias George, and BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan.

While Sreedharan being kept out of the main list of guests for the dais had kicked up a storm in Kerala, leading the state government to request the PMO to invite him, the ‘Metro Man’ drew loud cheers from the audience on Saturday. The 85-year-old, who has been associated with the project since its inception, received a loud applause each time his name was mentioned during the function.

Although the Prime Minister did not make any reference to Sreedharan, Venkaiah Naidu acknowledged his role. “I would like to compliment Sreedharanji for his support and able guidance,” Naidu said.

In his address, Chief Minister Vijayan said no one can forget Sreedharan’s contribution. “His extraordinary leadership had helped speedy completion of the Metro project,’’ he said.

During the inauguration of the Metro station at Palarivattom, the Chief Minister took care to bring Sreedharan to the front row of guests. When the Prime Minister was cutting the ribbon, Vijayan was seen making a place for Sreedharan in the front row of guests on the dais. After the event, the audience were seen jostling to take a selfie with Sreedharan.

Of the 25-km stretch, 13.2 km stretch was inaugurated on Saturday. Commercial services are set to begin on Monday.

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  1. S
    Sunil
    Jun 18, 2017 at 8:51 pm
    Honest present primminister so far doing great job. Some good people unable to read the progress against present economic distress. Sorry guys- Honestly I not for any political party. 🙏
    Reply
    1. A
      Anand Prakash
      Jun 18, 2017 at 12:56 pm
      Before talking of 50 cities being ready for the metro, feku should complete the Gujarat metro project which was started in 2005 when he was at the helm of affairs in that state.
      Reply
      1. A
        Anand Prakash
        Jun 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm
        Sorry, the Ahmedabad Metro project.
        Reply
      2. K
        Kamal Pasha
        Jun 18, 2017 at 11:12 am
        More unnecessary project are being introduced to collect more commission for themselves. This is honest corruption.
        Reply
        1. C
          Curious onlooker
          Jun 18, 2017 at 6:56 am
          Kochi has seen its dream of mass movement of commuters taking shape into a modern metro rail project to meet the city's ever growing transit needs. However, in the Capital, the hapless commuters are still groaning and plodding through bristling traffic in overcrowded buses despite much ballyhoo for a light rail project. Thanks to Mr oommen Chandy.
          Reply