KOCHI: In an attempt to make the Metro Rail project feasible and to ensure more ridership, Kochi Metro Rail has decided to take up the Kakkanad extension on a priority basis. Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will carry out works of the new line from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to Kakkanad (Infopark) along with the current phase as it requires technical and structural integration.
Due to hurdles in land acquisition and widening of Vyttila – Pettah Road, commissioning of Phase I and the earlier announced line to Tripunithura will be delayed. If the current progress of works is any indication, Metro Rail Phase I will end at Vyttila along with the new line to Kakkanad. Hence, it is almost certain that the Metro will reach the IT hub first and Tripunithura residents have to wait.
“We will not wait for the completion of Phase I to take up the new line to Kakkanad. The project proposal will be submitted for the state government’s approval this week after which it will be submitted to the Union government for consideration. The tendering process will begin after getting the statutory approval. Since the French funding agency, AFD, has expressed willingness to give funds for the extension, the project can be taken up soon,” said sources at KMRL.
The feasibility study and detailed project report for the Kakkanad extension has been prepared by RITES. KMRL is planning to undertake the Kakkanad project on its own, which will also help to hasten the project completion.