Kochi: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan commissioned Kochi Metro’s third stretch from Maharaja’s College to Thykoodam on Tuesday.
As the Metro has now reached Kochi’s busiest junctions and major transit points like Ernakulam south railway station and Vyttila mobility hub, the traffic congestion in the city will ease to a great extent, said the chief minister while inaugurating the new Metro line at a function held at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium, Kadavanthra.
He also inaugurated the construction of Petta-SN junction stretch and did the groundbreaking ceremony of the first terminal of the Water Metro project.
“The state’s biggest infra project, Kochi Metro, will drastically change Kerala’s image in urban transport sector. The Petta - SN junction stretch, the next phase of Metro expansion, will be commissioned in 24 months. Tendering and other procedures have been already completed. The Thykoodam-Petta stretch, the last reach along the 25- km Aluva - Petta line, will be ready by January 2020,” he said.
Union urban development minister Hardeep Singh Puri, chief guest, said urban transport development had become crucial as more people were moving to urban spaces. “As per the 2011 census, 31 per cent of the population in the country lives in urban spaces which will increase to 600 million by 2030. Currently, a total of 650 km of Metro line is operational in 18 cities in the country with 873 km under construction in 27 cities. The government will focus on more economically feasible, sustainable and non capital-intensive projects, he said. The centre has brought out a new policy supplement to the Metro rail policy — 2017 which proposes light metro for tire-II and tire-III cities,” he said.
The Union government will give top priority to the proposals of Metro rail extension received from various states, including the JLN Stadium - Infopark line submitted by the Kerala government, he said.
The extension of Metro to Thykoodam will give better connectivity between Ernakulam south and north railway stations and Vyttila hub, the major transit points in Kochi.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation principal advisor E. Sreedharan said that the new Metro stretch has three signature structures, the 90-metre- long cantilever balanced bridge across the railway line at Ernakulam south, the 40-metre curved composite steel girder near Panampilly Nagar and the 60-metre box girder at Elamkulam.
Transport Minister A. K. Saseendran, Mayor Soumini Jain, Durga Shanker Mishra, secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Hibi Eden MP, MLAs M. Swaraj, P.T. Thomas, district collector S. Suhas and officials from German embassy and the consulate-general of France addressed the gathering....