Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday flagged off the Kochi Metro, Kerala’s first Metro rail, and took an inaugural ride onboard the train with dignitaries, including Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan. Claimed to be the country’s first integrated multi-model transport system, it is expected to improve regional connectivity and ease the traffic congestion in Kochi, the commercial hub of Kerala.
Here’s all you need to know about the much-awaited Metro rail:
- The 13-km stretch runs between Aluva and Palarivattom.
- It is the first Metro system in the country with an integrated multi-model transport system.
- In the inaugural trip, PM Modi and other dignitaries, including ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan, rode from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam.
- Yogesh Saini and Sumit Kumar were the Train Operators for PM’s journey, a KMRL spokesperson said. Pawan Kumar and Anil Kumar will be there supporting them from the drivers’ cabins.
- The Rs 5,181-crore project has been praised for its social initiatives, including the employment of 23 transgenders.
- A unique aspect of its Metro stations will be the deployment of members of Kudumbashree, a women empowerment-oriented, community-based self-help group.
- Kudumbashree will provide a vast array of services from customer relations, crowd management, housekeeping and catering services, which once operational, will be the largest crew of women to be employed by any Metro.
- Women will also be seen behind the Metro wheel. Of the 39 loco pilots employed, seven are women.
- KMRL MD Elias George said around 25% of the energy needs will be met by solar power. Besides, the pillars of the Metro line will also be converted into vertical gardens and will use recycled municipal waste.
- The KMRL had organised a traditional sadya (feast) for its workers ahead of Saturday’s inauguration.