Prime Minister Narendra Modi today inaugurated Kerala’s prestigious Kochi Metro for commercial operations.
The Prime Minister with a host of dignitaries completed the first leg of the Metro ride from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam. Dignitaries included Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu. Metro man’ E Sreedharan, who is the principal advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, was also present on the occasion.
The first phase comprises a 13 km stretch between Aluva and Palarivattom. It is claimed to be the country’s first integrated multi-model transport system which is expected to improve regional connectivity and ease the traffic congestion in Kochi.
The work on Kochi Metro project started five years ago. The entire Kochi Metro project will be 26 km long. However, the first phase will run 13 km covering 11 stations between Palarivattam in Kochi and Aluva.
Kochi Metro is India’s eighth metro service and earlier this month, in an exclusive interview to India Today, E Sreedharan called it his life’s most challenging project. “Kochi has been a different environment; the operating costs were very high, apart from this the material and man power is costly,” Sreedharan had said.
Kochi Metro officials said introduction of a world-class metro system in Kochi would enhance the quality of life for the Greater Kochi metro area by improving regional connectivity and reducing overcrowding, traffic congestion, transit time, air and noise pollution.