PM to arrive today on 2-day visit; inaugurate Kochi Metro Phase -II

Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi would begin his two-day visit to Kerala on Thursday by attending various programmes, including inauguration of development projects of Kochi Metro and Indian Railways.

On September 2 he would commission the country's first indigenously built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.

The Prime Minister would arrive here on Thursday evening, address a public meeting and visit the Adi Shankara janmabhoomi kshetram (temple) at Kalady -- the birthplace of the Hindu saint, official sources said.

Also, he would lay the foundation stone of Kochi Metro Phase- II project at 6 PM on Thursday and inaugurate phase-1A, first stretch from SN Junction to Vadakkekotta.

Besides that, he would also dedicate, inaugurate and lay the foundation for various Railway infrastructure projects in the southern state.

On September 2, he would commission the Vikrant at the Cochin Shipyard Limited in Kochi and also "unveil the new naval ensign (Nishaan) thereby doing away with the colonial past," the PMO had said in a statement.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the Kochi Metro said its foundation-laying ceremony would be held at CIAL trade fair and exhibition centre. Governor Arif Muhammed Khan and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan would also be attending the event.

The proposed phase-II corridor of Kochi Metro Rail Project from JLN stadium metro station to Infopark, Kakkanad, would cover 11.2 km and have 11 stations.

Phase-I extension is the first stretch of work directly taken up by Kochi Metro Rail Limited.

With the inauguration of Phase IA, Kochi Metro would cover at least 27 km with 24 stations.

The revenue operations of both the stations would begin at 7 PM soon after Modi dedicates the stations to the people of Kochi.

As the SN junction and Vadakkekotta stations are opening for revenue operations, KMRL is expecting to touch an average of one lakh commuters per day, it added.

The railway projects-related ceremonies would also be held at CIAL, a southern Railway press release said.

Among the railway developments projects for Kerala, Modi will lay the foundation stone for three station redevelopment projects worth an estimated Rs 1,059 crore, the release said.

"These railway stations will be equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and world-class facilities such as dedicated arrival/ departure corridors, aesthetically designed interiors with facilities for differently-abled passengers, skywalks, spacious parking lots, attractive landscape with gardens and inter-modal transport facilities," it said.

The Prime Minister will dedicate to the nation the doubling of 27 km of tracks of the Kuruppanthara-Kottayam-Chingavanam section completed at a cost of Rs 750 crore, the release said.

With this, the entire 634 km stretch from Thiruvananthapuram to Mangaluru is fully doubled now, promising faster and seamless connectivity for the travelling public, it said.

He will also dedicate to the nation a newly electrified section between Kollam-Punalur completed at a cost of Rs 76 crore and will flag off special train services as well between Kottayam-Ernakulam and Kollam-Punalur. PTI

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