It has been planned that twenty two trains would be inducted into the first phase of operations of the Kochi Metro Rail. Each train will have a capacity of 1,000 passengers and would travel at a speed of 34 km per hour.
Decisions in this regard were finalised at the 12th board meeting of the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) held at Nedumbassery on Friday. The board has also reached an understanding on the names of the 22 stations that will be built on the stretch from Aluva to Petta.
The finalised names are Aluva, Pulinchodu, Companypady, Ambattukavu, Muttom, Kalamassery, Cochin University, Pathadipalam, Edappally, Changampuzha Park, Palarivattom, JLN Stadium, Kaloor, Lisie, MG Road, Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam South, Kadavanthra, Elamkulam, Vyttila, Thykoodam and Petta.
The trains would ply every five minutes, with a provision to raise the frequency, in case the number of commuters increases.
The Unattended Train Operation (UTO) system, which is supposed to be more neutral and accurate in the case of sky trains, has been recommended for the Kochi Metro. In the UTO system, vehicles are run fully automatically without the presence of any operating staff on board. UTO is controlled remotely by communication-based traffic control.
The board has also reached a consensus on how the necessary fund for the project would be raised.
KMRL Chairman Sudhir Krishna said that instructions have been given to the departments concerned to explore both internal and external funding options.
“Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) has already expressed its willingness to fund half of the external borrowings required for the project. The amount needed would be decided soon,” he said.
KMRL will also look into the possibilities of availing funds from domestic agencies such as HUDCO, India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited and a consortium of nationalised banks in India.
Krishna also announced the induction of E K Bharat Bhushan, who has been posted as chief secretary, Kerala, into the board of the KMRL. Similarly, S D Sharma, who is the new director of business development at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, would be a director at KMRL.
The board has also approved the appointment of Ved Mani Tiwari as director (systems). He will be in charge of signaling-related systems.
Friday’s board meeting was attended by Chairman Sudhir Krishna, Managing Director Elias George, District Collector Sheikh Pareeth, Additional Chief Secretary V J Kurien, among others.