Metro might chug out to airport

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Housing and Urban affairs asks the ministry to facilitate Metro connectivity to the airport

Published: 13th March 2018 10:58 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2018 02:20 PM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

Parliamentary Standing Committee on Housing and Urban affairs asks the ministry to facilitate Metro connectivity to the airport.KMRL still doubtful of the viability of extending services till the ariport. Cites lack of funds for extension

KOCHI:Kochi Metro Rail Ltd was not keen to extend Metro services till Cochin International Airport citing the move to be not viable. But soon KMRL and CIAL will be forced to initiate steps to facilitate the extension of Metro services till the airport.

Bringing hope to those who have to depend upon public and private conveyance to reach the airport, the parliamentary standing committee on housing and urban affairs has asked the Ministry facilitate Metro connectivity to the airport in cities such as Kochi, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Pune, Noida and Greater Noida. At present only Delhi and Chennai have Metro connectivity with the airports.

“It is an unfortunate revelation that in important cities like Bengaluru, Kochi, Ahmedabad and Pune, which are part of the future Smart Cities, no provision has been made for airport connectivity in the Detailed Projects Reports (DPRs) of Metro rail projects. Since Metro rail project has been conceived keeping in mind the future, the planning done today should be really futuristic,” the report reads.
The committee also asked the Ministry to prepare a detailed project report of the ongoing projects by including the extension of Metro to the airport.

“So far we haven’t received any communication in this regard. If the government issues a directive to ensure connectivity with CIAL, the KMRL will be forced to do it. At present we have only prepared a DPR from Aluva to Angamaly and it doesn’t cover CIAL. If we receive any such instructions, the extension procedures will be initiated,” said a spokesperson with the KMRL.

According to the KMRL officer, from the National Highway near Athanai, the line will have to be extended to a length of seven km for the service to reach the airport. “At present, our priority is the extension of Metro to Thrippunithura and then to Infopark via Kakkanad in the second phase. A case study on extending the service to CIAL will be launched but it will take some time since we have to complete these ongoing work,” said Mohammed Haneesh, KMRL MD.

However, according to KMRL, the extension will not be viable. “The number of commuters from CIAL depending on the Metro will be less since most of them will be travelling to distant places. A detailed study needs to be carried before carrying out the project. The project cost is another factor that needs to be considered. If the Centre provides the fund it will not be a big worry,” said the officer.

As per the earlier DPR prepared by the KMRL, Rs 3,115 crore will be needed for the extension of Metro from Aluva to Angamaly and another Rs 1,100 crore has to be spent to extend the line from Athani Junction to the International Airport. However, funding for the project still remains as a question.
“We are ready to welcome the Metro to the airport. We will also arrange facility to accommodate the Metro. The CIAL has provided a three-metre median in the centre of the roads leading to the airport to accommodate the Metro pillars. But we are not ready to invest a huge amount in the project,” said an officer with the CIAL.

Funding problems
As per the earlier DPR prepared by the KMRL, Rs 3,115 crore will be needed for the extension of Metro from Aluva to Angamaly and another Rs 1,100 crore has to be spent to extend the line from Athani Junction to the International Airport. However, funding remains the problem

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