Prime Minister Narendra Modi officially set in motion the first phase of the Kochi Metro Rail on Saturday, hailing it as “the first integrated multi-mode transport system” in India. He thanked Alstom, the French company, for building the coaches with communications-based train control (CBTC) technology.
“Kochi Metro reflects the Make in India vision and is a good example of governance,” Modi said, addressing an audience of 3,500 in Kochi. The coaches have been built at the Chennai unit of the company, and have an Indian component of around 70%.
Kochi Metro is the country’s eighth inter-city metro rail project, and is a 50:50 joint venture between the Union government and Kerala. It packs several firsts. For instance, Kochi will be first in the country to have a “water-metro”, which would be a feeder service to the rail metro. This makes it the first integrated multi-model transport system.
“In PRAGATI (pro-active governance and timely implementation) meetings, I have personally reviewed about 175 projects worth more than `8 lakh crore and resolved the bottlenecks,” the PM said. We are focusing on next-generation infrastructure, which includes logistics, digital and gas. There is need to bring a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land use and transport, he said.
“Kochi was selected as a smart city in the first round of the challenge in January 2016. I hope it will do even better in the days to come,” Modi remarked.
The inaugurated leg of the first phase is 13 kms long and has cost `5,181 crore. Once completed, it will span 25 kms through 22 stations.