KOCHI: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s ride on the Kochi Metro on Saturday prior to its formal launch of services sparked off a controversy, especially in the UDF.Aluva MLA Anwar Sadath was one of the leaders to cry foul for not getting an invite for the inauguration of the Metro solar power project at the Aluva Metro station. Protocol dictates the local MLA should be invited to a function the Chief Minister is attending.
Sadath submitted a written complaint to Pinarayi in this regard. “When we took up the matter with the Chief Minister, he said the KMRL officers arranged the programme for him along with the inauguration of the solar power project in Aluva,” said Sadath.
K V Thomas MP backed Sadath.
“No UDF representative, including Aluva MLA Anwar Sadath was invited for the scheduled trial run of the Metro hosted for the Chief Minister,” he told mediapersons.Hibi Eden MLA said he will take up the matter with the Assembly Speaker over the breach of privilege caused by sidelining the MLA. “The state leadership needs corrections badly,” he said.
Expressing displeasure over the entire incident during his ride, Pinarayi asked the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) authorities why the MLAs and local body heads were not invited. He also cancelled the inauguration after UDF activists blocked the National Highway in protest. The situation turned tense when the police attempted to arrest the activists. The Chief Minister also chose not to talk to mediapersons after his visit.
KMRL managing director Elias George, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation officers and CPM district secretary P Rajeev accompanied the Chief Minister on his visit.
‘An informal event’
On the controversy, KMRL MD Elias George said inauguration of the power project at the Aluva station was not planned as a formal function. “Anwar Sadath MLA was not invited as it was not a formal function,” he said.
“We decided against organising a big function as it would have been unfair to do so before the formal inauguration of the Metro by the Prime Minister on June 17,” George said. “The Chief Minister arrived for a final review of facilities before the inaugural function,” said George. He also denied the allegation E Sreedharan was not invited for the function. “We had contacted E Sreedharan the other day to tell him about the Chief Minister’s arrival. He said he would not be able to come as he was on tour,” he said.
CM’s day out
Kochi: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a ride on the Metro from Palarivattom to Aluva on Saturday. His visit was aimed at carrying out a final review of the preparation at the Metro ahead of its inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Pinarayi reached the Palarivattom Metro station and took a ticket, using it to move through the entry point onto the platform. He also walked through the station complex before boarding the Metro to Aluva. He visited the driver’s cabin where the operator explained the basic functions to him.
Metro to go solar two months a year
Kochi: Sun will feed the Kochi Metro for two months per year, thanks to solar panels installed at all its 11 stations along the Aluva-Palarivattom stretch. Though Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan cancelled the inauguration, the solar power project began functioning from Saturday. The solar panels installed along the 11 stations will generate 2.15 MW of power.
The building at the Muttom yard has also been fitted with solar panels. The power thus generated will be transmitted to the grid. Solar energy will be used for first operations every day. The Kochi Metro requires 20 million units of electricity per year. The KMRL also has plans to install a plant at the Muttom yard.