Rs. 189 cr. for Kochi metro extension to Kakkanad

The State Cabinet has given the administrative sanction for the Rs. 189-crore preparatory works for the proposed extension of the Kochi Metro Rail towards Infopark at Kakkanad. This was announced by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy after a Cabinet meeting in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

The metro rail is being extended to Kakkanad to increase the efficiency of Kochi Metro and to make it financially viable, the Chief Minister said.

The 11.2-km Phase-I B from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at Kaloor to Infopark via Kakkanad estimated to cost Rs. 2017.46 crore is awaiting Centre’s approval.

The mass rapid transit system (MRTS) will stop at 11 stations — Palarivattom Junction, Palarivattom Bypass, Chembumukku, Vazhakkala, Kunnumpuram, Kakkanad Junction, Kochi SEZ, Chittethukara, Rajagiri, InfoPark I, and InfoPark II on the extended stretch.

The Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) had carried out the study for extending the line.

The State Cabinet’s decision has given further fillip to the project coming as it does just a couple of days ahead of the test run of the metro coaches.

The preparatory works to be taken up include maintenance and widening of the roads and land acquisition for the new MRTS line. Besides, 3.85 acres of land need to be acquired to make the existing road 22 metres wide along the corridor to avoid traffic hold-ups during extension works.

The extension to Kakkanad has been cited critical for the ever expanding IT sector there.

In fact, it has been sited as the sole solution to the increasing transportation demands of Infopark and the upcoming SmartCity Kochi project.

While Infopark is looking at generating 1.50 lakh jobs by 2020, SmartCity Kochi also aims at generating jobs on a similar scale in the long run. Kochi Metro has been cited as the only possible solution to facilitate such mass movement of people.

Feasibility of such an extension has long been dispelled, In fact, while sanctioning the fund the cabinet observed that it was critical to the financial stability of the project.

A detailed project report (DPR) drawn up by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) sometime back had also put to rest apprehensions over feasibility issues.

A director board meeting of KMRL held in Delhi in September 2014 had decided to extend the metro at an estimated cost of Rs 1,600 crore, which was later scaled up to Rs. 2,017 crore.

The DPR estimated a passenger volume of 1.26 lakh daily in the stretch between Kaloor and Infopark.

In fact, it envisaged 7,939 passengers per hour per direction by 2,020, which was to rise to 10,890 by 2031.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 12:11:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/Rs.-189-cr.-for-Kochi-metro-extension-to-Kakkanad/article14011906.ece

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