Kochi Metro project to be ready by 2012

Friday, January 23, 2009, 8:29 by Business Editor

The government has flagged of the proposed Rs 3048 crore-Kochi Metro project, that will be executed on the lines of the Delhi Metro.

The Kochi Metro project will be a joint venture between the Kerala state government and the Central government.

“The project will be on similar lines to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. It will be a joint venture between the state and the centre,” VS Achuthanandan was quoted as saying after the weekly cabinet meeting.

Chief minister of Kerala, Mr. V S Achuthanandan, said that an amount of Rs 50 lakhs has already been sanctioned for the Kochi Metro project. To facilitate the execution of the project, an exclusive office will soon opened soon in Kochi itself.

The approval was fast tracked after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stepped in as a result of CPM’s assertion that the Planning Commission has refused to approve of the project. The CPM accused the Planning Commission of wanting a private party to be brought into the Kochi Metro project on a Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) model, like the Hyderabad Metro project.

In a statement, the CPM said that “the Hyderabad Metro project and the way the Planning Commission pushed it is a prime example of how India’s economic policy establishment is promoting private capital even at the cost of public interest. The Planning Commission has been trying to impose the Hyderabad Metro model on to Kerala, which is a prime example of crony capitalism.”

Manmohan Singh cleared the Kochi Metro project after studying the funding flowchart provided by the Kerala state government.

The Kochi Metro project will cover a 26-Km stretch between Thiruvananthapuram and Aluva. The stretch is supposed to cover Edapally, Palarivattom, Kaloor, MG Road, Ernakulam Junction railway station, SA Road and Vyttila to reach Tripunithura, while avoiding major flyovers like the Ernakulam Town railway flyover.

As per the Kochi Metro project plans, the Metro trains will run every five minutes at peak time, and eight minutes in the non-peak period. Smart Cards and contactless tokens will be introduced to control entry and exit to the stations.

The coaches of the Kochi Metro trains will not be as big as the Delhi trains, with each train carrying four coaches. The Kerala Metro trains have been designed to carry upto 3.5 lakh commuters daily by 2011.

The Kochi project is expected to be over within a span of 3 years of its start. Law Minister M Vijayakumar has been appointed to supervise the execution phase of the project.

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