KOCHI: Hinting the commissioning of Kochi Metro Rail may go beyond April, KMRL managing director Elias George said here on Wednesday the agency did not want to dedicate the project to the public in a ‘half-baked’ state.
Making the KMRL’s stand clear on the date of commissioning the first phase between Aluva and Palarivattom, George said the Railway Safety Commissioner is likely to inspect the Metro by April first week and the date of commissioning will be decided only after obtaining the safety commissioner’s certificate.
“The Chief Minister was also of the view that the date of commissioning could be finalised after the safety commissioner’s inspection. We do not want to open a half-baked Metro. All the necessary infrastructure work has to be completed. We have to ensure that adequate parking facility, last-mile connectivity and other major objectives of Metro are fulfilled at the time of commissioning,” said George.
He said the KMRL had already requested the state government to provide the service of SISF (State Industrial Security Force) personnel for the security of the Metro. A total of 240 security personnel are required for the stretch between Aluva and Palarivattom.
George said the Metro work is progressing at a rapid pace. “We are planning to convert every sixth pillar into a vertical garden. A demo will be done in the next two months. Advertisements will be displayed on other pillars as a measure to garner revenue,” he said.
Regarding the Kakkanad extension of the Metro, George said the agency is waiting for the clearance of the Union Government. The French agency AFD, which is providing external borrowing for the first phase, has already expressed its willingness to fund the extension phase too.