Kerala’s first metro rail project is all set for launch, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate its commercial services on Saturday. The service was introduced as an ideal solution to the traffic woes of Kochi. But as the first stretch – Aluva to Palarivattom – begins service starting June 19, there are doubts about the utility of metro.
The reason is simple, the time taken to cover the 13 km stretch. As per media reports, the train will cover the distance in 25 minutes. Some reports even went to the extent to state that even ambulances with sirens on cannot commute the distance so fast.
However, for several persons, who travel the stretch on a daily basis knows that it is not something impossible, even at ordinary speed. Superfast buses take 20 to 25 minutes to commute between Kaloor and Aluva. Kaloor is 1.3 km from Palarivattom while the buses stop at Aluva bus station which is 2.1 km from bypass junction, where metro stops service. So the buses take 20 minutes to cover 16.4 km which is 3.4 km more than the metro stretch.
Even if you are boarding a city bus, it will take only 35 to 40 minutes to reach Aluva private bus stand, and the time allotted for them is 37 minutes. The bus stand is 1 km from bypass.
On looking into Google map, it can be seen that the maximum time taken to cover the distance between Palarivattom and Aluva Bypass, where metro train ends its service, is only 27 minutes. It takes only 31 minutes to cover the stretch through an extended route, via Eloor, which comes to 18.7 km.
Thus, it is clear that the Metro will not help you save much time in its current route as the roadways take almost same time as the train.
Further, the ticket charge is also high in comparison to bus fare. One will have to pay ₹30 to travel on the metro from Palarivattom to Aluva while the bus fare is only ₹12 for the ordinary bus service.
It is true that the project will help commuters cover the distance between Aluva and Maharajas College or Thrippunithura at a much faster pace, but it is not so beneficial for those travelling between Aluva and Palarivattom.