Kochi: The busiest junctions along the metro corridor – Aluva and Edapally – will be developed and boast of allied infrastructure facilities such as modernized signaling system and walkways in another six months. Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) which developed this also plans to implement integrated transportation across the city in two years. “The Junction improvement works at Aluva and Edapally have already started and will be completed in six months. The two are the most important junctions, especially Edapally, traffic, economic and commercial load-wise,” said KMRL Managing Director Elias George.
The conceptual plan was readied with technical assistance of CODATU, a French non-profit organization specialized in urban transportation, and SYTRAL, unified transport authority for the city of Lyon, France. The state government has approved Rs 160 crore project to develop allied infrastructure such as connectivity to other inter-transport modes and parking facilities among others. In Aluva, a ‘Multi Model Integration Hub’ near the Aluva metro station will be constructed besides setting up pedestrian paths, cycle tracks and parking facilities. Meanwhile, Elias George said the integrated transportation network comprising Metro, water Metro, buses, taxis and autos will be implemented in two year’s time.
“The draft Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) Bill for this is currently awaiting the state cabinet’s nod. Unlike major cities like Delhi, the formation of a single agency for planning and regulating the entire urban transport system is “doable” in Kochi. In two year’s time, the public transport system here will be convenient, comfortable and feature-rich,” he said. On the Water Metro project, the official said the first batch of the 78 modern ferries is targeted to be rolled out by February 2019. “We will soon roll out global tenders for the fibreglass boats. One challenge though is that many of the jetties are owned by other agencies. However, we are readying 38 modern jetties on the Hub and spoke model,” he said.