Kochi Metro may miss mid-year deadline

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is gearing up to commence trial run from February. Metro rail extension possible by 2017, says DMRC. No decision yet on widening the bridge that links Pettah with SN Junction in Tripunithura

kochi metro trainKochi: The completion of Kochi Metro Rail work may skip the June 2016 deadline by three to six months, as per a yearend review by metro stakeholders.

All civil work in the Aluva-Maharaja’s College metro corridor will be over by June 2016. Though work on the 18-km viaduct is getting over, that on stations is encountering delay. Rail-laying work is expected to be over by July, while work on systems such as signalling and telecommunication and laying of third traction to source power would yet take another month. All these work can be done simultaneously, they said.

Back in January, Principal Adviser to the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) E. Sreedharan had expressed doubt whether the metro will go beyond Palarivattom because of undue delay in land acquisition in the city hub. Though stranded by a few months, civil work would gain pace during the second half of 2015 since the land required in Kaloor and parts of Banerjee Road and M.G. Road has been acquired.

Apart from the delay in land acquisition, a few strikes by quarry owners brought work to a halt at most work sites and casting yards in 2015.

Trial runs

With work getting over in the Muttom-Edappally corridor, the DMRC is gearing up to commence trial run from February. Three coaches are expected to arrive here by January 22. They will roll into the viaduct after preliminary trials within the coach-maintenance yard at Muttom.

Trials runs are expected to take more time than usual since Kochi metro trains will be equipped with communication-based train control (CBTC) systems. By switching over to this, trains can operate without pilots.

Only after exhaustive trial runs will the Commissioner for Railway Safety (CRS) issue safety certificates, the sources said.

The KMRL would install equipment for automatic fare collection using radio frequency identification device (RFID).

Metro rail extension possible by 2017: DMRC

Kochi Metro Rail’s 8-km-long extension beyond Maharaja’s ground to Pettah and Tripunithura can be done by December 2017 if land is handed over on time, DMRC officials said.

Dismantling buildings to widen the Jos Junction-South Railway Station-Manorama Junction stretch into four-lane would take another four months, following which civil works will begin in the Maharaja’s Ground-Manorama Junction portion.

Ongoing civil works in the Manorama Junction-Vyttila stretch would be over in the first half of 2016.

Dismantling buildings to widen Kunnara Park-Pettah corridor would take another eight months.

Work on this corridor and in the Pettah-Tripunithura portion would be done simultaneously and a contracting firm is expected to be identified shortly. Widening Champakkara Bridge into four-lane is a key component of the project.

Bridge widening

A decision is yet to be taken on widening the narrow bridge that links Pettah with SN Junction in Tripunithura. While KMRL has taken a loan from the District Cooperative Bank for metro works on Kunnara-Pettah stretch, the State government funds are awaited for Pettah-Tripunithura extension.

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