The Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES) has been entrusted with the preparation of the feasibility study report for the second phase of expansion of the Kochi Metro Rail. The decision in this regard was taken at the Board of Directors meeting of the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) held here on Friday. Announcing the decision at a post meeting press conference, Urban Development Ministry secretary Sufhir Krishna said that the report would be completed within seven months.
He said that along with the extension of Kochi Metro Rail to the suburbs of the city, the feasibility study will also look into the possibilities of launching metro related transportation facilities such as monorail, tramway and semi automatic buses.
In the second phase, the Metro Rail service will be extended to Kakkanad, Angamaly through Nedumbassery and towards West Kochi areas.
“For improving the urban transportation sector and infrastructure of the city, a master plan is necessary. We hereby recommend the state government to initiate steps for launching a master plan for the Greater Kochi agglomeration area, which will help the city and its suburbs get the full benefit of the Kochi Metro Rail,” Krishna, who is also the chairman of the KMRL added.
He said that a global tender will be floated soon for identifying an agency for conducting safety and quality assessment of the project. “The quality and safety monitoring agency will mainly focus on framing a quality plan for the project, inspecting the inventory quality, the storage, testing of materials and workmanship and safety monitoring like whether the work is being carried out in compliance with the safety norms. We are trying to float the tender within 15 to 20 days,” he said.
Regarding the formation of a Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA) for the city, Krishna said that as per the Government order, an UMTA committee with KMRL managing
director Elias George as the chairman was already constituted.
“We hope that the state government will soon launch steps to bring UMTA within the legislative framework,” he added.