THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has no plans to attend the inaugural ceremony of Kochi Metro, slated for Saturday. “Since I’ve another function to attend, I can’t make it to the function,” Chandy said, maintaining he has no complaints for not being specially invited for the ceremony.
Chandy, who was instrumental in piloting the UDF Government’s flagship programmes of Kochi Metro, Vizhinjam project and Kannur airport, said it was the results of Kochi Metro and not controversies which should matter.
“It is not the success of a prestigious project alone. Kochi has been gifted with modern infrastructure development now. Kochi Metro stands as an example that Kerala can indeed do it if there is determination,” he said with malice towards none. His exclusion from the inaugural ceremony was noticeable and attracted criticism from a cross-section of society.
Supplementing his open comments further, in a statement, Chandy wished all the best for Kochi Metro. “Kochi Metro is the proud symbol of Kerala now. After the Idukki hydel project (1976) and the Nedumbassery airport (1999), a mega project is being realised in Kerala,” he said.
“About 90 pc of the works on Kochi Metro were finished during the tenure of the UDF Government itself. The UDF Government decided to implement the Kochi Metro Rail project in December, 2004. In July, 2005, the project report was submitted by DMRC. In 2011, Kochi Metro Rail Corporation was formed. The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone in September, 2012. The UDF had set a target of 1,000 days for completing the works. The subsidiary works were completed at a fast pace prior to getting the Union Government’s nod for the project,” he said.
“On the 873rd day after the commencement of works, the test run of Kochi Metro was conducted. On day 1,470, the project is being inaugurated,” Chandy said. “Kochi Metro has been accomplished in tune with global standards. Through this, the city is now open to boundless vistas in development. Kochi can boast itself of being a world class city,” he said. Chandy thanked everyone who had worked from the front and behind to realise the project.
“The leadership and expertise of DMRC chief adviser E Sreedharan and the determination and commitment of KMRL MD Elias George was a big asset. The contributions of former District Collectors Sheikh Pareeth and M G Rajamanickam, who had successfully led the land acquisition proceedings, former ministers Aryadan Mohammed and V K Ebrahim Kunju and the people’s representatives in Ernakulam district were really big. "Above all, special thanks to Kochiites who suffered a lot for the project,” Chandy said.
Chandy to take Metro ride on Monday
Oommen Chandy, who played a major role in making the Metro Rail project a reality, will take a ride in the Kochi Metro on Monday along with other Congress leaders. Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC president M M Hassan and Aryadan Mohammed will accompany him from Palarivattom staion to Aluva at 3 pm.