Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Suburban railway and not metro railway will be the answer for the traffic woes of Kochi, C. Raju, former Chief Engineer of Konkan Railway, has said.

Speaking at the release of “an affordable and viable urban transport system for Cochin,” complied by K.J. Sohan, Development Standing Committee chairman of the Kochi Corporation, here on Tuesday, Mr. Raju said that only a suburban traffic system could effectively handle inter-city transport needs. The system can be effectively extended to Alappuzha, Thrissur and Kottayam districts and this would cost only Rs. 100 crore. The metro railway project would be suitable only for addressing the traffic needs of the city, he said.

Of the 120 metro railway projects implemented in the world, only the Hong Kong project was the profitable one. The political will and the willingness of the State government and Railways were required for establishing the suburban system for Kochi, said Mr. Raju, who had spearheaded most of the metro railway projects in the country.

In his address, Union Minister of State for Agriculture K.V. Thomas said people's support was necessary in the State for implementing any development scheme. It was not scarcity of funds but absence of coordinated efforts that plagued the State.

Earlier, Prof. Thomas released the proposals by handing over a copy to Mr. Raju.

In his address, Mr. Sohan said that an attempt was made in the publication to collate various study reports regarding the transport sector of Kochi.