Kochi Metro rail inauguration LIVE updates: In what will be a major boost for the South Indian state of Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagged off the Kochi Metro on Sunday morning at 11 am at a grand ceremony which will be held at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium. PM also took a ride from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam in what is being hailed as India’s first integrated multi-mode transport system. The ceremony will also be attended by a host of dignitaries including Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Leader of Opposition in Kerala Assembly Ramesh Chennithala, Ernakulam MP K V Thomas, and ‘Metro man’ E Sreedharan.
Here are Kochi Metro rail inauguration LIVE updates:
1:03 PM: PM praised PN Panicker by saying that he was the driving spirit behind the library network in Kerala and did this through Kerala Grandhasala Sangham with 47 rural libraries.
1:00 PM: “There can be no joy greater than reading &no strength greater than knowledge. Kerala had been an inspiration to whole nation in literacy,” said PM Modi at the launch of National Reading Day.
12:35 PM: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached St Teresa’s College at the launch of PN Panicker National Reading Day.
12:25 PM: “There is need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach & integrating land-use & transport,” the Prime Minister added in his speech.
12:11 PM: PM Narendra Modi said the Kochi Metro app is a good example of e-governance digital platform and also mentioned that the Union Government has so far released over Rs 2000 crore for the project.
12:08 PM: “Kochi, the queen of Arabian Sea was once an important spice trading centre. Today it is known as the commercial capital of Kerala,” says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
11:48 AM: Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu praises Metro Man Dr E Sreedharan, says this is the fastest Metro completed in record time,
11:30 AM: The 13-km long stretch spans across Aluva and Palarivattom. KMRL in it approach towards a gender-balanced workforce has deployed several women to act as frontrunners in the operation, by collaborating with Kudumbashree, the women empowerment-oriented self-help group initiated by the State government.
11:19 AM: “Futuristic infrastructure that will contribute to India’s growth…PM @narendramodi and other dignitaries on the Kochi Metro,” read the tweet from PMO Twitter account.
11:13 AM: The Prime Minister is also accompanied by Union Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and Information and Broadcasting, Venkaiah Naidu.
11:07 AM: The Prime Minister also congratulated CM Pinarayi Vijayan and Metro Man Dr E Sreedharan for their work.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) June 17, 2017
11:02 AM: PM Narendra Modi has inaugurated the Kochi Metro rail and now will take a ride in it.
11:00 AM: PM Narendra Modi has reached the Palarivattom with CM Pinarayi Vijayan. He was cheered by thousands of people including children. He then entered the Palarivattom station, with CM Vijayan and ‘Metro Man’ Dr E Sreedharan.
10:40 AM: Yogesh Saini and Sumit Kumar will be the Train Operators for PM’s journey, a KMRL spokesperson said. Pawan Kumar and Anil Kumar will be there supporting them from the drivers’ cabins.
10:25 AM: PM Narendra Modi will go to the Palarivattom station where he will be received by ‘Metro Man’ Dr E Sreedharan.
10:15 AM: PM Narendra Modi has reached Indian Navy’s Naval Base airport and will now proceed to Palarivattom Metro Station. The airport belongs to the Indian Navy and public have no entry there.
10:00 AM: “This is one of Kerala’s proudest moments. To have completed a historic mission like this within record time is a matter of pride. Typically government launch initiatives and we can never be sure when it comes to a completion. It is Dr. E. Sreedharan’s hard work and commitment that we are now witnessing,” said actor-turned-MLA Mukesh.
9:45 AM: The Kochi Metro rail will have low-floor buses and autos plying as metro feeders and the KMRL has also roped in Kochi Water Metro, a water transport unit functioning as feeders for those living by the banks of the backwaters.
9:30 AM: Apart from a special provision for wheelchairs, coaches have earmarked specially for people with disabilities. For such people and pregnant women, the Kochi Metro comes fitted with cushioned seats.