The Centre has accorded the green signal for Kochi Metro's long-overdue 11.20-km-long Kakkanad (Infopark) extension, with ₹1,957 crore being earmarked in Monday's Union Budget.
The project cost includes the expenses for land acquisition and taxes. The State Government had sanctioned the project in 2019.
The phase-two extension to Kakkanad that will take off from Jawaharlal Nehru International (JLN) Stadium and terminate at Infopark, will thus provide a metro-rail link between the city hub and the expanding IT hub.
It will also establish metro connectivity from the city to the district headquarters, residential and industrial areas, and the SEZ located in Kakkanad. The plan is to complete the project that will seamlessly integrate with the 27-km-long Aluva-Tripunithura phase-one metro corridor, will be commissioned in another four years, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), sources said.
There will be 11 elevated stations in the proposed metro corridor.
Once realised, the corridor will also provide city connectivity to Silverline - the semi-high speed rail corridor proposed from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasargod, which has proposed its Ernakulam Station near Infopark.
Both the mass rapid transport systems will most likely converge at the same premises or have a common station, so that commuters would not have to depend on alternative modes of transport while switching from Silverline to metro-rail and back. The metro extension will also have link to Water Metro's Kakkanad and Infopark jetties.
The KMRL has already begun preparatory works to carve out space for a metro viaduct along the 30-metre-wide Seaport-Airport Road, from Collectorate Junction. Land acquisition, for which paper works is getting over, will shortly begin to widen the JLN Stadium-Collectorate Jn. stretch into a 22-m-wide stretch.
The KMRL, which is implementing the metro's phase one extension from Pettah to Tripunithura would execute the Kakkanad extension too. The Aluva-Pettah corridor was implemented by DMRC.