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The first phase of the Kochi Metro has been completed with the commissioning of the Thykoodam-Petta stretch, announced Minister of State (Independent Charge), Housing & Urban Affairs, Hardeep Singh Puri. He further said that the proposal for the Phase-2 of Kochi Metro was under active consideration of the Central Government and would be approved soon.
The first phase of the Kochi Metro was completed at a cost of Rs 62.18 billion.
The Thykoodam-Petta stretch of Kochi Metro was inaugurated by Puri and Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan through video conference on Monday.
Addressing at the online launch, Puri urged the people of the country to travel responsibly while adhering to various standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued in different states for metro operations. The union minister along with the Kerala chief minister flagged off the train from Petta at 1230 pm in a virtual inauguration conducted over video conference. The commencement of civil works from SN Junction to Thrippunithura by unveiling the plaques was also done. Kerala Ministers, MPs, MLAs, chief secretary and senior officials also joined the event.
Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Durga Shanker Mishra congratulated the Kerala government and the people of the state on the completion of Phase-1 of the Kochi Metro. With the inauguration of the 1.33 km stretch from Thykoodam to Petta, the total operational stretch will be 25.2 km. With the commissioning of the Petta-Thykoodam stretch, Kochi Metro should be able to increase its ridership to over 100,000 per day.
KMRL is all set to implement the Kochi Water Metro Project at the cost of Rs 7.47 billion with the financial assistance of the German Bank, KfW. Kochi is the first city in the country wherein water transport has been integrated as a feeder service to the metro. Besides, KMRL has engaged persons from the LGBT community in its operations, thus, becoming the first organisation to appoint transgender persons in the country.
Kochi Metro’s other unique feature is its themed metro stations. Based on the core theme of Western Ghats, the metro has selected various topics such as Kerala’s heritage, culture, art, etc., for the stations. For the Petta Metro Station, KMRL has chosen fishing as the theme with a dedication to the fishermen community of the state that helped save thousands of lives during the Kerala floods in 2018.
The automated fare collection (AFC) system is a critical core component of any metro system. KMRL has developed a unique public-private partnership (PPP) model wherein the capital investment as well as the maintenance cost is taken care of by a bank and, in return, it offers a co-branded card for the Kochi Metro system.
The Commissioner of Metro Railway Safety (CMRS) had approved the opening of Petta metro station in May 2020 after KMRL completed the work in March. However, the commissioning was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.