Director Board meeting of KMRL ratifies proposal

Kochi Metro Rail will touch down at Tripunithura in the project’s phase one.

A meeting of the Director Board of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) conducted here on Monday ratified the proposal to extend the 25-km-long Aluva-MG Road Pettah metro from Pettah up to SN Junction in Tripunithura, as an extension of metro’s phase one.

2-km extension

“This 2-km extension will cost an additional Rs 323 crore. The metro will thus have two more stops – Alliance Junction and SN Junction,” said Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna, who chaired the meeting.

Improve viability

The extension up to SN Junction will improve the project’s viability (since passenger patronage will be more). It is also technically and practically more feasible than having the terminal station at Pettah, Mr. Krishna said.

Following the board decision, the State and Central governments must give their formal nod for the extension that will considerably benefit people from Kottayam, Thodupuzha, Muvattupuzha and other towns, who can walk across to the metro station from the adjacent railway station and a new bus stand envisaged nearby.

Duration of work

Asked when the work on the extension would be over, Elias George, managing director of KMRL, said that it would be ready within a few months of the Aluva-Pettah alignment being commissioned (in 2016).

Location

On the precise location of the terminal station, Mr George said that it could be constructed on the northern side of SN Junction, through minimal land acquisition.

“An earlier proposal to have the terminal station on vacant land owned by SAIL beside SN Junction overbridge has been dropped.”

A few months ago, Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) was entrusted with the task of finalising a feasible alignment for the metro from Pettah up to Tripunithura.

An alternative alignment through Gandhi Square was dropped since it was not feasible.

Supply of coaches

Answering a question on the delay in shortlisting firms for supplying metro coaches, Chief Secretary E.K. Bharat Bhushan said that the tender was yet to be finalised since only a single firm was in the fray, after a Chinese firm backed out.

“Bidding parameters will be revised so that at least three from among the six major coach manufacturers participate in the tender process. The maximum outer width of coaches has been fixed at 2.90 metres.”

Reacting to this, Mr George said that the aim was to procure world class coaches at a reasonable rate. A notification on this count would be issued soon.

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