Prime Minister Narendra Modi flags off Kochi Metro

The much-awaited Kochi metro is the first system of mass rapid transport in Kerala.   | Photo Credit: @PMOIndia

Kerala took a big leap in modern urban transport infrastructure development on Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi commissioning the first phase of the Kochi Metro rail service along a  13.2-km stretch between Aluva and Palarivattom.

The Prime Minister also took a short inaugural ride on the Metro, accompanied by Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Urban Development minister M. Venkaiah Naidu, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation principal advisor E. Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Limited Managing Director Elias George, among others.


Mr. Modi said the city, known for its historical spice trade and as a hub of tourism, was ideal for the establishment of the Metro, as its population was expected to touch 23 lakh by 2021.

Beginning his address in Malayalam, Mr. Modi listed out the number of firsts clinched by the Kochi Metro in launching smart services -- embracing technology, adopting a PPP model for ticketing and for trying to attain ‘zero emission’ environment friendly norms in the long term. He spoke about the Kochi Metro's initiative in granting employment to 1000 women and 23 persons from the transgender community.

Mr. Modi also highlighted the achievements of his government over the last three years, especially in developing road, rail and power infrastructure and in ironing out issues in these sectors.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan started his speech congratulating Mr. Sreedharan. He said he would have to disappoint those looking for controversies as the Centre and the State were united on questions of development. “We never had any doubt who should inaugurate the project, as it is part-funded by the Centre,” he said, underscoring the support extended by the Centre for development projects. 

Kochi-1 smart card, country's first metro to have a open-loop card that can be used outside the metro system, was launched on the occasion. A Kochi1 mobile application that will link metro commuters with various traffic modes was also launched. 

Earlier in the day, Mr. Modi was received by Mr Sathasivam and  Mr. Vijayan, among others at the Naval Air Station INS Garuda.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 9:52:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/pm-narendra-modi-flags-off-the-kochi-metro-rail/article19092982.ece

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