KOCHI: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will commission the second reach of Kochi Metro Rail up to Maharaja’s College ground on October 3. “We have confirmed the availability of the Chief Minister on October 3 and are waiting for the nod from the Union minister’s office to finalise the date for opening the stretch between Palarivattom and Maharaja’s,” said KMRL managing director Elias George. The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety (CMRS) will carry out the crucial safety inspection along the stretch from Palarivattom to Maharaja’s on September 21 and 22. The commercial service can be launched only after getting the safety clearance of CMRS.
The integrated trial run along the second reach using signalling and communication system was successfully completed last week. DMRC principal adviser E. Sreedharan inspected the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium — Maharaja’s stretch on Tuesday. “Glass works are on at JN stadium station which will be the first to get ready. Flooring works and escalators have already been completed at other stations. Theme-based interior works will be taken up after launching the commercial service,” sources said.
The KMRL authorities have speeded up the works following the state government’s instruction to open the second reach before the FIFA Under-17 World Cup matches scheduled from October 6. The KMRL expects significant increase in the number of regular passengers once the stretch is opened and the Metro agency has plans to introduce special packages and revisions in ticket fares. There will be change in the time schedule of Metro service from Aluva to Palarivattom on September 16 and 18.
This is to facilitate the testing of train and new software in the combined Reach 1 from Aluva to Palarivattom and Reach II-A section from JN stadium to Maharaja’s. The services will begin only by 8 am on Saturday and 12 noon on Monday. “Since the passenger traffic is minimal during 6 am to 8 am we hope that the changed time schedule might not affect the passenger convenience,” said a KMRL spokesperson.