E Sreedharan, Kochi Metro | Photo: Mathrubhumi
Ponnani: As Kerala’s first metro service turns five years old on Friday, Metroman E Sreedharan talks about its future.
Reduce fares to attract more passengers
Metro is facing losses due to decrease in the number of passengers. The ticket fares will have to be reduced to encourage more people to use the metro. The metro fares should not exceed 1.5 times the bus fares. Nowadays, it is more than 2 or 3 times the bus fare.
Expenses must be cut down
Income from sources other than tickets should be maximized. Only then can the metro system sustain under the current situation. In the case of Delhi metro, the revenue from other sources excluding ticket revenue is around 25 per cent. Measures must be taken to cut down the expenses. 24 stations have been built. DMRC was against this. It was also not very thoughtful to have transferred many of the duties to Kudumbashree. The extra expense of employees and the electricity bill should be slowly brought down.
Second phase should have started sooner
The second phase of the metro from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kaloor to Kakkanad should have started earlier. Extension of the metro till Kakkanad will attract more passengers. Even if it starts now, it will take four to five years for completion. It is a common practice to start the second phase once the first phase is completed. That did not happen. Although the work of track extension from Petta-SN Junction-Tripunithura was given to DMRC, it was later cancelled which is the reason why the metro extension to this part was delayed.
Carelessness over Pathadipalam bridge
The structural weakness of the Pathadipalam bridge was due to carelessness. But that has not turned into a blot over the metro's name. A committee appointed over this matter has been looking into why such a structural weakness occurred. The strengthening of the bridge is nearing its final stages.
Rs 5 Ride Today
As part of the 5th-anniversary celebrations, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd will offer rides to any station at just Rs 5 on June 17. The announcement was made through the official social media handles of Kochi Metro. The special rate for the day has been branded as 5@5 offer. Kochi Metro has been campaigning with 5@5 offer from June 11.