The Prime Minister was joined by other dignitaries including Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu, opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala and Metro Man E Sreedharan. Modi also took a ride on the newly constructed rapid transport from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam.
• The total stretch of Kochi Metro will cover 26 km and it will have a total of 22 stations.
• The first phase, which will cover about 13 km with 11 stations between Palarivattam in Kochi city and Aluva, is the longest first phase of a metro to be inaugurated so far.
• The metro service is also the first in India to use Communication Based Train Control technology to maximise frequencies and minimise errors.
• While by road, the time taken to travel from Palarivattom to Aluva is about 45 minutes, the Metro will cover the distance in just 23 minutes.
• The total cost of the project is estimated to be around Rs 6,000 Cr. It was executed by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and will be operated by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).
• E Sreedharan, who once headed DMRC acted as an advisor on the project.
• The fare of the service is expected to vary from a minimum of Rs 10 to a maximum of Rs 40.
• Each station on the route will showcase a theme such as maritime history, western ghats and the local history of the city.
• Each station will also have solar panels that will focus on producing 35 per cent of the total power usage.
• The Metro service would also be the first one to employ transgender people in the stations. It has appointed as many as 23 transgenders for customer service operations and as ground staff.
• The KMRL has also collaborated with Kudumbashree, a women-empowerment oriented self-help group initiated by the State government, and deployed several women as the frontrunners in the metro operations.
• The train coaches also have special provision for wheelchairs and for people with disabilities.
• The metro comes fitted with cushioned seats for such people and pregnant women.
• The coaches are also equipped with multiple USB ports in order to enable commuters to charge their mobile phones on the way.
• Also, apart from a fleet of low-floor buses and autos plying as metro feeders, the KMRL has also roped in Kochi Water Metro, a water transport unit functioning as feeders for those living by the banks of the backwaters.
The inauguration of a world-class metro system in the city by the Prime Minister is expected to enhance the quality of life in the area, improve regional connectivity, reduce overcrowding, traffic congestion, transit time, air and noise pollution.
The trains will start from Aluva and Palarivattom from 6 AM simultaneously and finish the day's ride at 10 PM at Aluva.
There will be 219 trips between this period and the headway will be 8 minutes 20 seconds.
The Metro rail is expected to start its revenue operations from 19 June 2017.