Kochi Metro reels under loss; seeks permission from Centre to resume services
Kochi: The state government has written to the Centre seeking permission to resume services of Kochi Metro that is reeling under losses. It has been closed for months now due to Covid pandemic.
The salaries of around 1200 employees including Kudumbashree workers and the maintenance of rail track and 25 trains add to the financial burden.
In the letter written to the Centre, state government said that all facilities for a safe and secure journey has been arranged. KMRL has arranged facilities to check body temperature of the commuters and to disperse contactless tickets. Also passengers can make use of smart ticket Kochi 1 Card.
As services were halted, the income from tickets and rentals stopped. It is worried over the repayment of loan of Rs 5,687 crore taken for the first phase construction from French Development Agency, Canara bank and Ernakulam district cooperative bank. It needs Rs 25 lakh daily to repay the loans. They have sought a delay of six months in the wake of the pandemic and lockdown.
Before lockdown, Kochi Metro had 60,000 to 65,000 average daily commuters between Aluva and Thaikkudam. Now the rail construction between Thaikkudam and Pettah has been completed. Inauguration was postponed due to Covid.
As the number of buses on roads decreased, resuming metro services would be helpful to public, it is believed.