After dedicating Kochi Metro to the nation, PM Narendra Modi on Saturday hailed the India’s first integrated multi-mode transport system being launched in Kerala. Addressing the event in Kochi, PM Narendra Modi said, “Kochi, the queen of Arabian Sea, was once an important spice trading centre and today it is known as the commercial capital of Kerala. Lauding the launch of Kochi Metro, PM said, “Kochi Metro reflects Make In India vision and it is a good example of e-governance.”
“The coaches reflect Make in India vision and they have been built by Alstom near Chennai, and have an Indian component of around 70%,” PM said. PM also informed that Kochi Metro Rail Limited is a 50-50 Joint Venture of Government of India & Government of Kerala. “Union Government has so far released over Rs 2000 crore for the project,” he added. “Over the last three years, my Government has placed special focus on overall infrastructure development of the nation.”
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“In PRAGATI meetings, I have personally reviewed nearly 175 projects worth more than eight lakh crore rupees and resolved bottlenecks,” PM said. PM Modi further added, “We are also focusing on next generation infrastructure, which includes logistics, digital and gas. There is need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land-use and transport.” “Kochi was selected as a Smart City in Round 1 of the challenge in January 2016. I hope it will do even better in the days to come”, PM said addressing the event.
Earlier, in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the first phase of Kochi Metro to the nation on Saturday. Soon after his arrival at the Naval airport here from New Delhi, Modi drove to the Palarivattom station and took a ride from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam. Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan were among those who accompanied the prime minister in the train.
After cutting the ribbon at the Palarivattom station, Modi shook hands with the chief minister and Sreedharan before proceeding to board the metro train. During the journey, Modi waved at the crowd as Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd Managing Director Elias George interacted with him. Union Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gouba, Kerala Chief Secretary Nalini Netto and BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan also travelled with the prime minister. After the train ride, the dignitaries left for the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at nearby Kaloor for the formal inaugural function.
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. The estimated completed cost of the metro touched Rs 5,181.79 crore. A long-cherished project of Keralites, the foundation of Kochi Metro was laid by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 13, 2012. It will improve regional connectivity and reduce traffic congestion.