KOCHI: The much-awaited extension of Kochi Metro from Maharaja’s College station to Thykoodam will be inaugurated on Tuesday. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the service from Kadavanthra Indoor Stadium station and Central Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will preside over the function. However, passenger services on the stretch will begin only on Wednesday after the safety inspection.
The Metro Safety Commissioner is slated to begin the inspection of the stretch from Friday. From Maharaja’s College, five new stations – Ernakulam South, Kadavanthra, Elamkulam, Vyttila and Thykoodam – are to be inspected by the Commissioner. Metro Safety Officer K A Manoharan is to be part of the inspection. According to Kochi Metro officials, the services can begin only after the safety certificate is issued by the Metro Safety Commissioner.
Meanwhile, Metro authorities said that the construction work on the Petta-Tripunithura SN Junction stretch will begin on Tuesday with piling works. The consortium, including Mumbai-based KEC International company and China Civil Engineering Construction, is entrusted with the works.
The inauguration of the construction work of the first Water Metro Terminal will be held on the same day. Meanwhile, as part of inaugurating Kochi Metro stretch from Maharaja’s College to Thykoodam, parking facility for all Metro commuters will be free at all stations till September 25.
At present, 18 trains are plying on the Aluva-Maharaja’s College route. Once the service is extended up to Thykoodam, all 25 trains will be used, thereby increasing the number of daily services. Kochi Metro was commissioned on June 17, 2017, on the Aluva-Palarivattom stretch, connecting 11 stations. In October that year, the service was extended to Maharaja’s College, taking the total number of stations to 16.
As per the data provided by KMRL recently, nearly 2.5 crore passengers have used Kochi Metro so far. The average daily ridership of Kochi Metro now stands between 40,000 and 45,000. During holidays, ridership is estimated to be between 55,000 and 60,000.