Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Kochi Metro saying it is the first metro project to be commissioned with modern signalling system, the coaches reflect the Make in India initiative. Considered 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. PM Modi was accompanied by Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan, E Sreedharan among many others. The inauguration took place at the international stadium in Kaloor. The event was attended by 3,000 invited guests.
Here’s what PM Narendra Modi said at the Kochi Metro inauguration:
* Kochi, the queen of the Arabian Sea, is an important spice trading centre. Today, it is known as the commercial capital of Kerala. Kochi ranks first in the number of domestic and international tourists arrival in Kerala. Hence, it is fitting that Kochi should have a metro rail facility.
* Kochi population has been rising steadily and is expected to reach 23 lakhs by 2021. That’s why a mass rapid transit system is essential to address the increasing pressure on urban infrastructure.
* KMRL is a 50-50 join venture of government of India and Kerala government. The Union Govt has so far released over Rs 2,000 crore for Kochi metro.
* The coaches reflect Make in India vision and has been built by Alstom at their factory near Chennai and have an Indian component of around 70 per cent.
* Another noteworthy aspect of this project is that nearly 1,000 women and 23 transgenders are being selected to work in the Kochi Metro.
* The project is an example of an environment-friendly development. It plans to meet nearly 25 per cent of energy requirement from renewable resources, particularly solar energy.
* The economic and social benefits of metro rail systems are well-known. We have sped-up the policy formulation in this sector.
* In line with the Make in India vision, efforts are being made to promote domestic manufacturing of Metro. There is a need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach.