Kochi: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that the first phase of Kochi Metro Rail would be commissioned by April next year and it would be Asia’s most modern metro rail service.
Replying to a calling attention motion by Hibi Eden MLA in the Assembly on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said that all civil works in the first-phase, including construction of stations, would be completed by January 2017. Multi-level parking facilities would be constructed at all stations subject to availability of land. A review of the work was conducted in October.
“Kochi Metro will have the most modern facilities and would be the most advanced one in terms of technology among all metros in Asia,” said the chief minister.
He also said that work on the second phase from Maharajas College to Petta would be expedited. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation had terminated the service of one contractor and partially offloaded another for lapses and delay in carrying out construction. Land acquisition procedures were also progressing.
The Chief Minister also said that Kochi Metro Rail Limited would file a writ petition in the High Court seeking income tax exemption for compensations given for land acquired for the metro project.
“Since income tax is a matter concerning the Union government, the state could not take a decision on it,” he added.
In the calling attention motion, Hibi Eden pointed out that Metro works were behind schedule and some of the major works such as construction of stations, which had to be completed by August, were nowhere near completion.
“Though the services of an expert team is crucial to coordinate track signaling, traction, communication works, DMRC’s Kochi team does not have experienced officials.This will affect the quality of the Metro system,” Hibi said.