Representative Image: Muralikrishnan B/ Mathrubhumi
Kochi: Kerala’s first metro will turn five this month. When the Kochi metro was launched on June 17, 2017, the service was only upto Palarivattom. Within the last five years, the track extended from 13.2 kilometres to 25 kilometres and reached Pettah for now.
The authorities plan to take the Metro services to SN Junction and Thrippunithura soon. At present, Metro has many related projects, including water metro, renovation of canals in Kochi and new Metro projects for Thiruvananthapuram and Kozhikode.
Metro to expand
The metro track will extend to Nedumbassery airport and Marine Drive within the next five years. The second phase of the metro will be from the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kaloor to Kakkanad. Along with this, the authorities have planned the third, fourth and fifth phases of development.
The third phase, which is the Aluva-Angamaly track, will be connected to Kochi airport also. The masterplan for this project was already prepared in 2014. However, changes will be brought in the blueprint according to the new metro guidelines and upgraded technologies. The project can be implemented soon as the alignments have already been prepared. In the fourth phase Thrippunithura will be directly connected to the metro at Kakkanad.
The authorities are considering establishing the most advanced Metro Neo in the fifth phase of the project. Metro Neo, comprising electric bus coaches, is more likely to connect High Court, Marine Drive, Subhash park, revenue tower and Maharajas college from MG road.
The construction works of the second phase of Kochi metro from Kaloor to Kakkanad will commence soon. The Kochi metro authorities have given reply to the details Union sought prior to giving the final approval.
The new route from Pettah to SN Junction will be inaugurated promptly. The service will be initiated after obtaining an approval from the commissioner of metro railway safety. Two stops will be arranged at Vadakkekotta and SN Junction, in between the 1.8 kilometre length.
The next phase to Thrippunithura terminal will begin in June 2023.
The authorities expect to increase the daily footfall to 1 lakh by December 31. Currently, 73,000 passengers avail the services.
The project ‘Bliss City’ will be set up in 31 acre land at Kakkanad to improve the revenue of the metro from sources other than tickets. The centre will have trading centres, hospital, wellness centre and entertainment facilities open to the public. The authorities have started measures to attract investors.