Kochi Metro: The first phase of India’s eighth metro service will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Kochi on Sunday. This will also become India’s first metro service in a tier-II city. The most interesting part of Kochi Metro will be the first of its kind feeder services through boats, also called ‘Water Metro’. According to an Indian Express report, the inauguration of the first phase of the Kochi Metro would mark the first step towards the development of an integrated transport system in the city.
Here are some major highlights of the Kochi Metro project that makes it unique in many ways:
- Kochi Metro is India’s eighth and the first in a tier-II city to go into commercial operation.
- Kochi Metro is a part of the development of an integrated public transport system that will include feeder services with boats, or Water Metro.
- The Water Metro is being set up at Rs 800 crore, according to IE. The feeder services would also include buses, for which the the existing network is being restructured.
- Kochi One: To use all all services of the integrated transport network, the government will launch a prepaid card, Kochi One.
- The cost of Kochi Metro project is Rs 6,000 crore, being executed by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC). It will be operated by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).
- The total route length of Kochi Metro is 26 km with 22 stations. In the first phase, it will run on 13 km route covering 11 stations between Palarivattam in Kochi city and Aluva.
- The trial run for the first phase of Kochi Metri has started with six trains.
- Water Metro is being developed on a 76-km route. Its first phase is expected to go into operation from 2019. This will make Kochi the first city with a boat service as a feeder to a Metro network.
- Water Metro will include modern passenger vessels and boat jetties to be used in the backwaters of Kochi, six neighbouring panchayats and three municipalities.
- At present, Kerala Water Transport Department operates ferry services from Kochi to nearby islands. But these services lack adequate facilities and safety measures.
— Kochi Metro Rail (@MetroRailKochi) May 25, 2017
- According to IE, Water Metro project will engage 78 speed boats. Of the 38 boat jetties, 16 would be modernised under the Water Metro.
- German funding agency Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau is assisting in the project.
- Tourism boost: It is believed that Water Metro would open up new opportunities, especially in the tourism sector, for people living on islands on the outskirts of Kochi.
- As part of the integrated transport system, Kochi’s bus network will go through a makeover. Routes along the
- Metro corridor is being restructured and seven new companies have taken over from various private operators. Around 900 buses ply on 773 routes in Kochi and surrounding areas at present.
— Kochi Metro Rail (@MetroRailKochi) May 8, 2017
- Mainstreaming LGBT: Under the project, 23 LGBT persons would also be recruited.
- IE reports that 11 stations in the first phase have been designed on various themes showcasing Kerala’s natural beauty, the Western Ghats, maritime history, spices, cultural and artistic heritage and sports, besides the local history of Kochi city.
- The roofs of all stations of Kochi metro will have solar power panels, which are expected to generate 2.3 MW. Besides, a vertical garden will be erected on selected pillars along the corridor.
- Fare: The minimum fare on Kochi Metro will be Rs 10, while covering 12 km will cost Rs 40.