Kochi: Changing the face of Kochi city and also the lives of its citizens, the Kochi Metro train will make its dream run in about three or four years. The last hurdle for its implementation was removed when the Union Cabinet cleared the project on Tuesday. The Rs 5,126-crore project, which has been hanging in the balance for the past couple of years, will mark a leap for the state on the industrial landscape, besides alleviating the traffic woes of the congested and evergrowing Kochi city.
The 25-km-long Kochi Metro Rail from Aluva to Petta will have a total of 22 stations. ‘‘With the Centre giving its nod for the project, the immediate step is to initiate measures to avail of financial support from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). We will hold talks with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation officials to chalk out the way forward under the guidance of former DMRC chief E Sreedharan,” said Tom Jose, Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) managing director.
Proposed in 2005 at an actual cost of Rs 2,239 crore, the total project cost saw huge escalation owing to the delay. Out of the Rs 5,126 crore estimate, the upgraded project cost is Rs 4,910 crore and the govt taxes are estimated at Rs 216 crore. This includes the cost of land acquisition which may come up to the tune of `600-700 crore. The current estimate is a total of 32 hectares, including stations and parking spaces.
“The Kochi Metro Rail project also aims at integrating various modalities of transportation including rail, water and road. This will be the USP of Kochi Metro for enhancing the quality of life of the citizens of Kochi,” Jose added.