First phase of Kozhikode monorail will be completed by December 2016, says Principal Advisor of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) E. Sreedharan

The works on the monorail project in Kozhikode city will begin in March next year and its first phase will be completed by December 2016, E. Sreedharan, Principal Advisor of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), has said.

He was delivering a talk organised at Malabar Palace here by the Kozhikode Centre of the Institution of Engineers on the suitability of monorail, an elevated mass rapid transit system, for the city.

The first phase of the project will cover the 7-km stretch from the medical college hostel to Mananchira in the city.

Participants of the session questioned him about issues such as the elevated stations inconveniencing physically weaker people; fewer number of seats inside the coaches; land acquisition; “exaggerated” projections of the number of people who will use the system; reports of some countries shunning monorail; and the problems it could pose to traffic on existing roads.

Dr. Sreedharan said concerns of different stakeholders had been taken into account before finalising the project.

“It has been found that monorail is the most suitable for the city,” he said.

He said the coaches would run on a steel or concrete beam raised on concrete columns erected from the medians and would not obstruct traffic on existing roads. “The elevated structure will not shut out light or air,” he said. All measures would be taken to ensure passengers’ security. Lifts would be available at every station. “Escalators will also be set up in all the three major stations,” he said. On the fewer seats inside the coaches, he said passengers would have to spend only a short period in them. “However, reserved seats will be available for senior citizens and the differently abled,” he said.

‘Land not a problem’

Land acquisition, he said, was not a major issue since almost 8.55 hectares of the total 10.65 hectares required for the project was government land.

“I hope the government will come up with a decent rehabilitation project for those who will be displaced,” he said.

An estimated 1.48 lakh people would use the system daily within a few years of the project’s commissioning, he said. Any such project should take into account the future needs of the city. The veteran engineer, popular as Metro Man, said many advanced countries, including China and Japan, were promoting monorail in a big way.

Institution of Engineers Local Centre chairman M.S. Joseph presided over the function. Senior member A. Achyuthan and K. Bhaskaran, secretary of the centre, spoke.

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