RITES submits ‘Feasibility Report on Extension of Metro Rail’ to KMRC

Metro to be extended up to Tripunithura in first phase

Kochi:  A feasibility report on the extension of Kochi metro rail to suburbs will be presented on Wednesday to the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) authorities.

The detailed feasibility report, prepared by Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), deals with the possibilities of expansion of the Kochi metro rail to areas like Tripunithura, Kakkanad, Nedumabassery international airport and Angamaly and to the West Kochi area.

Kochi Metro will be extended up to Tripunithura in the project’s first phase. That too from Pettah to SAIL land near Irumpanam, through SN Junction, the alignment that most people prefer.

“The extension from Pettah – the present terminal station, up to SN Junction is expected to cost Rs.200 crore. Extension subsequently from SN Junction to other parts of Tripunithura could fall in metro’s second phase,” said Elias George, MD of KMRL, after a meeting with officials of the Rail India Technical and Economic Service (RITES) here on Tuesday.  Officials of the DMRC are also expected to attend the presentation. The general consensus is that the proposed extension to Tripunithura will be a positive move, as Petta, where a metro station is planned, does not have enough land to develop related infrastructure facilities.

RITES was entrusted with the task of taking a call on the most feasible alignment for Kochi Metro’s Tripunithura extension.

Tuesday’s decision follows an interim report submitted by RITES.

“Work can begin after KMRL Director Board and State government take a decision on the basis of a final report that is expected soon,” Mr. George said.

Alternative alignment

On the alternative alignment that was proposed through Gandhi Square, he said this was not viable because of proximity to an eco-sensitive water body.

Extensions up to Kakkanad/Infopark, Angamaly/international airport and West Kochi could be taken up in metro’s subsequent phases.

Public transport

Mr. George cited the RITES report to show that only 59 per cent commuters depended on public transport in Kochi now, as compared to 70 per cent 12 years ago.

“The figure will drop to 50 per cent unless mass rapid transport systems like metro and monorail are introduced, since Kochi’s roads cannot bear more vehicles. Otherwise private vehicles will worsen congestion on city roads.”

The preliminary report was presented by RITES group general manager Sanjiv Bhutani, general manger Y.P. Sachdeva and their team.