Kochi: The first service of the Kochi Metro will be conducted in the 13-km Aluva-Palarivattom stretch in March itself. Talks will be held with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for the purpose, Mr E. Sreedharan, principal adviser, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, said here on Monday. The chief minister had said at the evaluation meeting held earlier that commercial services should start only after the Metro rail work was completed till Maha-raja’s College station, a further five km from Palarivattom.
“The DMRC and the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd are working together to complete the work between Aluva and Palarivattom and to commission the section by the end of March,” Mr Sreedharan said after evaluating the construction in the 13-km section. When asked about Mr Vijayan’s earlier direction, he said attempts were on to hold a meeting with the Chief Minister on the matter.
In the review meet held on December 11, the Chief Minister and the MLAs had said that conducting the services only till Palarivattom would further congest the city as Metro commuters would have to find another mode of transport to travel to the city and back. Originally, the commercial operations were slated to start by June 2016 but the deadline was extended first to November 1, 2016, and then to April 1, 2017.
Meanwhile, Mr Sreedharan expressed satisfaction at the progress of the Metro construction after the motor trolley inspection held earlier in the day. Signal testing trial will continue in the Aluva-Palarivattom stretch for one more month, a statement said. One more rake (three coaches) was brought to the Muttom yard from the Alstom’s manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh. Till now, only four rakes have been delivered instead of the 16 rakes needed for commercial operations.