After almost four years of much hype, Kochi said hello to India’s most talked about metro on the 17th of June, 2017. It has already become the pride of every Malayali, and caused a facelift to Kerala’s reputation.
The metro was inaugurated by the honourable Prime Minister of India, Mr.Narendra Modi, alongside Kerala Chief Minister, Shri.Pinarayi Vijayan and other honourable dignitaries, at the Palarivattom station, and then rode to the station in Pathadippalam.
Phase one of the metro stretches over a distance of 13 Kms, and consists of 11 stations, starting from Aluva to Palarivattom, and takes approximately 25 minutes to cover the distance.
The metro is said to operate with a headway of 10 minutes.
My experience on the metro was a memorable one. The monday following the inaugural day saw large crowds flocking the stations to get a view of the city from the new ride. The ticketing counter saw very friendly staff helping out the newbies with the entire process.
The fares start from a minimum of Rs.10 to a maximum of Rs.40 from Aluva to Palarivattom, and the other way round. The metro will use a prepaid EMV chip smart card which can also be used to access other modes of public transport in the city.
Kochi metro has been credited with many firsts, including the uplifting fact that it will be manned chiefly by women force. It is India’s first government run agency to employ transgender folks, and as many as 23 of them were present on the inaugural day. KMRL has also been lauded for its decision to employ workers from the kudumbashree community.
Another major attraction of the metro is its theme based designs. The stations are designed with Kerala’s culture and geography in mind.
Kochi, the most popular tourist spot in the country can boast about the fact that metro’s first phase construction was completed in record time compared to all other cities in India – 45 months. And interestingly the work entailed no controversies regarding corruption of any sorts and was completed well within the budget. Kochi Metro is India’s first integrated multi-model transport system with world-class facilities.
The stations and pillars have been designed after much thought and one of the chief attractions here are the vertical gardens. And in another sustainable initiative, the metro network will be utilizing compost generated from municipal waste to fertilize it.
This metro will also be the first of its kind to use solar panels for power consumption. According to reports, as many as 22 stations on the final 25Km full stretch will have solar panels. And about 25 percent of power will be sourced from them.
Adding to all these interesting factors is the fact that Kochi will be the first city in India to have a “water metro”, which a feeder service to the metro rail.
Kochi metro comes with a technology that can ride it pilotless and is hoping to implement this in the near future.
The KMRL or Kochi Metro Rail Limited turned heads in its noble gesture of treating the hundreds of migrant workers who were involved in the laborious task of making our metro dream come true. A traditional sadhya was served, which was savored by all the workers.
Also, KMRL’s inclusivity measures have already won the hearts of the Indian population. Their initiative to include the inhabitants of an old age home and several other differently abled people on the first ride is truly pioneering.
Kochi metro is all set to change the life of its folks. With hopes of reduced traffic, and faster commute, ‘nammude metro’ is truly a dream come true. Kerala has one more establishment to brag about now!
Be sure to make time for yourself to ride the Kochi metro when you plan your next visit to Kerala.
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