CHENNAI: Kochi’s dream of having its own metro will soon be realised with Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu flagging off the first few coaches from Sri City, Andhra Pradesh, for Kochi Metro, which will be received by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on January 10 or 11.
This is the first time a metropolis train set was conceptualised, designed and tested in India, said Jean Francois Beaudoin, deputy senior vice-president of the rolling stock manufacturers Alstom, adding that 70 per cent of the rake was indigenously produced.
The company delivered the first train set of 25 trains ahead of schedule in record time. After reaching Kochi, it will be coupled together at the coach depot in Muttom near Aluva.
“The inspection ports are ready for carrying out the trials,” said E Sreedharan, one of the key persons behind the Kochi Metro project.
The trains will be commissioned from February and the integrated trials will commence from April. The efficient way the project has begun, it will not be surprising if the 25 km long elevated stretch is put to use before the deadline of December 2016.
Sreedharan, the Metro man, who is also the brain behind Lucknow Metro, has urged Alstom to advance the delivery of rakes by September so that the trial run could happen by December.
Kerala government is also looking at developing metro rail networks in other cities like Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.
The metro coaches have been manufactured at a tendered cost of `632.95 crore for 75 cars, which has also set a record in terms of lowest cost of manufacture of any metro. The 75 coaches are likely to be delivered by April 2017.
While Kochi is planning to implement Urban Metropolitan Transport Authority and have a single ticket for all transport modes, there are also plans to have a water transportation project at a cost of `747.28 crore for augmenting the city’s urban ferry system.
This will have 78 fast ferry boats. There will also be renovation of jetties and road infrastructure and last mile connectivity along with lagoons and canals of greater Kochi region, Venkaiah Naidu said.
He added that his ministry has recommended the proposal to Finance Ministry for external funding from the German funding agency, KfW.
■ Kochi Metro coach manufactured at Sri City is one of the most indigenised metro coaches manufactured in India
■ The first train will reach Kerala by January 10th or 11th and it will be received by Kerala Chief Minister Oomen Chandy
■ The Metro trains will be commissioned in Kerala by Febrauary
■ The integrated trials of Kochi Metro is scheduled for April 2016
■ The metro train utilises communications-based train control technology, a railway signaling system that makes use of the telecommunications between the train and track equipment for the traffic management and infrastructure control
■ The 75 coaches of Kochi Metro is manufactured at a cost of `632.95 cr. All the coaches are likely to be delivered by April 2017
■ The Kochi Metro comprises of three-car combination and can carry 975 passengers, including 136 seated passengers
■ The coach has provision for USB charging and six LCD screens as well as CCTV cameras