KOCHI: As the third reach of Metro Rail works have begun from Maharajas to Jose junction, the city police authorities have chalked out an action plan for traffic diversion to facilitate Metro construction. A meeting of city police authorities and Kochi Metro Rail Limited officials held on Wednesday discussed the plans which will be implemented only after Onam festival days. “Though traffic regulations to be imposed along the stretch were discussed at the meeting, it is not practical to implement the proposals during the busy Onam days. Hence, it has been generally agreed to enforce curbs after the festival season,” said top city police official.
Being a busy and narrow junction, vehicles have to be diverted from Jose junction once the works are in full swing. Once, barricades are erected, the four-lane traffic along the stretch will be reduced to two-lane and vehicles will have to be diverted through Chittoor Road or other alternative routes. Traffic police authorities, who could successfully implement traffic curbs during the reconstruction of North railway overbridge, are hopeful of managing the diversion and rerouting of vehicles with ease. Metro construction works from Jose junction to Thykoodam is targeted to be completed in 20 months by March 2019. Construction of the 90-metre long balanced cantilever concrete span diagonally over the railway lines at the South station, a major structure along the route, is expected to be complete by December.
Metro service to be rescheduled
The timings of the Kochi Metro service will be rescheduled from Saturday to facilitate a trial run and technical tests along the Aluva – Maharajas stretch. The Metro passenger service will begin only from 8 am from Saturday. This delayed schedule will continue till September 2. Kochi Metro Rail Limited is planning to extend the Metro service up to Maharajas by the beginning of October, before the FIFA Under-17 World Cup matches scheduled from October 6.
Technical tests have to be done on the signalling system for the complete section from Aluva to Maharajas. To meet the commissioning deadline, extended test runs had to be conducted, said a KMRL spokesperson. Meanwhile, the finishing works of the stations along the JN Stadium – Maharajas stretch works are progressing at a fast pace and the KMRL will seek approval of the Railway Safety Commissioner soon. If the safety clearance is received, the commercial service will begin from October 1. KMRL authorities expect a significant increase in the number of regular passengers once the stretch is opened and are planning to introduce special packages and revision in ticket fares.