Director board meeting of KMRL approves coach composition, specifications

Each train of Kochi Metro Rail will have three coaches and the capacity to carry a maximum of 1,000 persons.

The average speed will be 34 km per hour and the train will be compliant with communication-based control. The operational speed limit was fixed at 80 km per hour and the design speed limit 90 km per hour, said Union Urban Development Secretary Sudhir Krishna, who chaired the 12th Director Board meeting of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) at Nedumbassery on Friday.

‘Crush load’

Asked whether 1,000 people could be accommodated in three coaches, KMRL’s MD Elias George said it was the ‘crush load’ capacity for Bangalore metro trains. Similar coaches would be used for Kochi metro.

Sources said 600 people could comfortably travel in each train.

The trains in each direction will travel every five minutes initially, while the frequency can be increased to up to one train every 90 seconds based on the demand from passengers.

The board approved the decision taken by KMRL’s technical sub committee on the number of coaches and their specifications. The coaches will abide by the standard width of 2.90 metres and height of 3.90 metres. “But they will be larger (lengthier) than regular coaches to ensure financial and operational optimisation,” Mr. Krishna said.

Sources said the overall length of each train has been fixed at 65 metres. The three coaches will have to fit within this specification. The platforms at each station will be 70 metres long.

Funding options

Speaking about the funding options for the Rs.2,170 crore loan for the Rs.5,182 crore project, Mr. Krishna said KMRL was looking beyond Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). A loan is also expected from AFD, a French financial agency. “We are also negotiating with ADB, HUDCO, India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) and some banks,” he said.

He termed Friday’s board meeting as a milestone since the contractual agreement with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has been formalised.

“KMRL will recruit more employees so that the agency is in a position to take over operation and maintenance of the metro (that is expected to be ready in four years’ time). Our aim is to build a modern, cost-effective metro within the shortest possible time.”

Land acquisition

On the progress of land acquisition for the project, Mr. Krishna said there had been no problems so far. Minor issues with the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) and the Railways would be taken up soon.

The board also approved the appointment of Ved Mani Tiwari as Director (Systems). He will be responsible for rolling sock and signalling-related aspects of the metro.

A presentation was made on the timelines and schedule of the project.

As per DMRC’s estimate, the civil works including construction of viaduct and stations can be completed in 24 months, while the rest of the works such as trial runs can be done in 12 months.

There will be 17 major curves in metro’s Aluva-Pettah alignment. The sharpest will be a 120 degree one.

List of stations

Following is the final list of 22 metro stations: Aluva, Pulinchodu, Companypady, Ambattukavu, Muttom, Kalamassery, Cusat, Pathadipalam, Edappally, Changampuzha Park, Palarivattom, International Stadium, Kaloor, Lissie Junction, M.G. Road, Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam South, Kadavanthra, Elamkulam, Vyttila, Thaikoodam and Pettah.

Tripunithura extension

The metro’s extension up to Tripunithura in the project’s first phase was not taken up at the board meeting. Extending the terminal station from Pettah to SAIL’s sprawling yard in Tripunithura – a major town located around 2 km away, would considerably increase metro’s passenger patronage and lessen land acquisition hassles at Pettah.

RITES has been shortlisted to do a study on extending the metro to Kakkanad and the international airport, it is learnt.

Casting yard

Sources said with L&T in the process of readying men and material for metro works set to commence on June 7, land for establishing casting yards and to build metro stations must be handed over at the earliest.

Land must also be acquired for constructing a flyover at Edappally since the DMRC intends to integrate the metro pillars and viaduct with the flyover.

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