Jun 8, 2013

Green signal awaited for metro extensions

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy flags off the metro rail's work inauguration in Kochi on Friday. Photo: Vipin Chandran
The HinduChief Minister Oommen Chandy flags off the metro rail's work inauguration in Kochi on Friday. Photo: Vipin Chandran

Kochi metro will chug into international airport, Angamaly, Kakkanad and West Kochi within the next few years, if all goes well.

A feasibility study by RITES Limited would be ready in six months, said Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, following the inauguration of metro works, here on Friday. “We will go ahead once we get the Centre’s nod for the proposed extensions,” he said.

Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) will depute a percentage of its workforce to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which will, in turn, train them in the nuances of constructing a metro rail system. The trained personnel will assist KMRL when the agency carries out extensions to the metro. The extensions are expected to increase the patronage and, thereby, revenue for the metro. Responding to the overwhelming demand to shift the metro’s terminal station from Pettah to Tripunithura, Minister for Transport Aryadan Mohammed said, “KMRL and the Centre have to decide on this. The Chief Minister and I will raise the demand with the Centre.”

The metro needs to be extended by a kilometre-and-a-half from Pettah, where the terminal station has currently been proposed.

The Tripunithura Rajanagari Union of Residents’ Associations (TRURA), the apex council of residents’ associations in the town, the CPI(M) and many others have been raising the demand over the past few years. They cite the availability of nine acres of unused land owned by the Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) on the eastern side of the toll bridge near SN Junction, where the terminal station could be located. This will augment inter-modal connectivity with the Tripunithura railway station located nearby, and the new bus terminal coming up in the area.

Besides residents of Tripunithura, those of Kakkanad and Kalamassery also stand to benefit from the extension. Land acquisition at the congested Pettah Junction can be confined to the area required for the metro station. This will also do away with the need to operate feeder bus services from Pettah up to Tripunithura.

“Locating the terminal station at Tripunithura in Phase I will help when the metro is extended to Kakkanad through Airport-Seaport Road which lies 400 metres from the SAIL land,” said TRURA’s chairman V.P. Prasad and convenor V.C. Jayendran. Extending the metro will also decongest North Fort Junction and SN Junction – two major bottlenecks in the Pettah-Tripunithura route.Source - the hindu

 

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