Kochi Metro Rail received a boost on Tuesday with E. Sreedharan, principal advisor to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), stating that the first set of trains to be used for the service would be brought to the city by April 2015.

Mr. Sreedharan was speaking after receiving an award conferred on him by the Rotary International District 320, Ernakulam.

Though the State government and Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has set a time period of three years for completion of the project, Mr. Sreedharan said he was optimistic of commissioning the project by March 2016, much ahead of the deadline. He, however, did not rule out the prospects of some hurdles in the smooth progress of the project.

He cited land acquisition, availability of funds and system inspection as some of the key challenges. But he said he was confident of surmounting those obstacles and completing the project on time.

He said a global tender for the rolling stock has been floated. Tender will be awarded by the end of this year soon after which order will be placed for the trains.

Mr. Sreedharan said the train sets are crucial to every metro rail project. The first train set is likely to land in the city within 20 months from now once the train design is finalised and the clearance of the safety commission is obtained.

He said the DMRC plans to start the oscillation trial of the coaches once the trains land here. The plan is to conduct the trial run in the Aluva-Palarivattom stretch by December 2015.

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