KOCHI: Kochi Metro will roll into M G Road, one of the major commercial centres in the city on Tuesday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the Metro services, which has been extended up to Maharaja’s College, at 11 pm at a function that will be held at the Ernakulam Town Hall. At present, the metro services which begin from Aluva end at Palarivattom. With the services being extended till Maharaja’s College Ground, the total length of the stretch will become 18. 5 km from the present length of 13.5 km. There are five stations in the new segment. Union Minister for Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri will also attend the inaugural ceremony.
With the Kochi metro service getting extended, it will take only 30 minutes for passengers to reach MG Road from Aluva, whereas by bus the journey takes a minimum of one hour. Heavy traffic at areas like Klamassery, Edappally Toll, Palarivattom and North junctions make it impossible to reach destinations on time. The fare is Rs 50 per person from Aluva to MG Road. Services will begin at 6 am in the morning and will wind up at 10 pm. Services will begin simultaneously from both ends. There will be services at an interval of nine minutes.
KMRL authorities said the passenger operations will begin as soon as the Chief Minister delivers his inaugural speech. There will not be any delays. Earlier, during the launch of the first phase in June, the passenger services began a day after the inauguration. With the city hosting the FIFA U-17 World Cup from October 7, the service extension is likely to help football lovers from the suburb to reach the stadium without hassles. The Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium station, which is situated near the main venue of FIFA matches, will also host a special caricature drawing event on the inaugural day of the service extension. The passengers will be provided with their own caricature drawn by prominent artists between 12 noon and 2 pm as a token by KMRL. KMRL had already launched the landscaping and beautification of the Stadium station and its premises. Ornamental plants have been planted on the medians and station premises along with vertical gardens on pillars.
The KMRL will also develop major junctions including Aluva and Edappally in the first reach of Kochi Metro Rail. The junction development plan includes beautification of the area, modernising footpaths, walkways and dedicated pedestrian zones. The landscaping will also be done in selected areas.
Sporting specific themes
The new five stations that will be added to the existing eleven stations as part of the service extension are Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium (JNI Stadium), Kaloor, Lissie Jn, M G Road and Maharaja’s College. The interiors of the new stations will also have specific themes. The Stadium station will have the sporting heritage of Kerala as the main theme while the Kaloor station will have Western Ghats- the monsoon, waterfalls, and waterbodies as the theme. The thematic design for Lissie Junction station is the dragonflies and butterflies of Western Ghats while the MG Road station interiors will be designed with the theme-Ernakulam and its history. The special theme of MG Road station is selected after considering its proximity to Ernakulam Broadway and MG Road, which is the commercial spot of Kochi. The Maharaja’s Ground station will have the endangered species of Western Ghats and the mammals as the theme. The common theme for all the stations will be the Western Ghats.