KOCHI: In a colourful ceremony, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday dedicated the Kochi Metro Rail to the nation, and said metro rail projects are the future of mass urban tranportation in India. He said 50 other cities in the country plan to implement metro rail systems. "Over the last three years, my government has given special focus to infrastructure development," he said.
Modi said the coaches of the Kochi Metro reflect the Make in India vision. "They have been built by Alstom near Chennai, and have an Indian component of around 70 per cent," he added.
IN PICS: Ten things you need to know about Kochi Metro
Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, in his speech earlier, said the government was committed to development projects in the state. "The government will not tolerate protests for protest’s sake in development. The government, however, is committed to protect the environment, and will not allow development projects at the cost of the environment," Vijayan said.
The PM, Kerala governor P Sathasivam, Union urban development minister Venkaiah Naidu and other senior dignitaries undertook the first journey on the Kochi Metro Rail, an 8 km ride, before the inauguration of the project. The state’s first metro rail service, built at a cost Rs 5200 crore, is also the country's first integrated multi-mode transport system.
IN PICS: Modi inaugurates Kochi Metro
Earlier, the Prime Minister was accorded a warm welcome at the Naval Air Station by Sathasivam, chief minister Vijayan and other dignitaries.