Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate Kochi Metro on Saturday flagging off the commercial operation of the metro rail service. He is also expected to chair a meeting with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and other cabinet ministers later in the day. News agency ANI reported the inauguration is set to take place at 11 am this morning.
PM Modi is expected to ride the rail from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam following which he will proceed towards the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium for the inauguration. He will be accompanied by a host of dignitaries, including Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister P Vijayan, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, Ernakulam MP K V Thomas and mentor of Kochi Metro project E Sreedharan. Also read | Kochi Metro inauguration: After PMO nod, E Sreedharan to share the dais with Modi. Click here.
Known as ‘Metro Man,’ Sreedharan is the principal advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation which helped in executing the construction of the Kochi Metro. Earlier this week, reports came in that Sreedharan was excluded from the list of people who were invited to share the dais with PM Modi for Saturday’s inauguration. Downplaying the incident, Sreedharan had said, “The security of the Prime Minister is important.” Subsequently, the Prime Minister’s office informed the Kerala government that Sreedharan will be among the dignitaries on the dais.
Since its inception, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), has always focused on providing world-class amenities to the people of Kochi. Aside from a fleet of low-floor buses and autos plying as metro feeders, KMRL has also roped in Kochi Water Metro, a water transport unit functioning as feeders for those living by the banks of the backwaters. Besides, all stations’ rooftops have been fitted with solar panels to generate power.
The entire Kochi Metro route will be 26 km long with 22 stations. However, the first phase will run 13 km covering 11 stations between Palarivattam in Kochi and Aluva, a neighbouring town. Other unique initiatives of the project include, recruitment of 23 LGBT persons, roping in the services of 700 women from BPL families and appointing women train operators. The minimum fare to ride in the Kochi Metro is capped at Rs 10, while an end-to-end ride, would cost Rs 40, reported ANI. Related | A date for Kochi Metro, fed by new bus and backwater boat networks. Click here.