कोच्चि Kochi: Clarifying that they have not shelved the plan to extend Kochi Metro Rail to Tripunithura, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) authorities on Tuesday said the proposed extension would be carried out as the phase I (a) of the project, as per the actual schedule.
The clarification came in the wake of the apprehensions raised from some quarters that the KMRL had shelved the expansion plan to Tripunithura and would go ahead with the extension from Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium, Kaloor, to Infopark via Kakkanad.
“Though we decided to carry out the extension of Kochi Metro Rail to Infopark in the first phase itself, we have not shelved the plan to extend the service to Tripunithura. The major reason for the delay in commencing the Vytilla-Tripunithura-Pettah stretch is the delay in land acquisition for widening the existing road there,” said KMRL Managing Director Elias George.
He said the state Public Works Department (PWD) which owns the Vyttila-Petta Road requires nearly Rs.400 crore for the land acquisition for road widening. We have now requested the state government to release Rs.80 crore this fiscal so that we will be able to initiate the land acquisition procedures. If the procedures are over before March 31, 2015, we will be able to carry out the Tripunithura extension as per plan,” said George. They expect the Tripunithura extension, planned at an estimated cost of Rs.400 crore, to get an smooth clearance as per the revised norms of the Union Government. The decision to carry out the Infopark extension was taken after the KMRL board observed that it would be economically beneficial to undertake the extension from the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium to Infopark in the first phase itself as the additional ridership and concomitant revenues would help improve the financial viability of the project.
“As per the feasibility study conducted by RITES, the proposed 11 km-long Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium – Infopark extension will have a financial rate return of 8 per cent,” he said.
CM Visit on Oct 20
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will review the progress of the Kochi Metro Rail project on October 20. He will visit a few Metro sites in the morning and later hold discussions with KMRL and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) officials. Chandy will also unveil the miniature of the station model. Minister for Railways Aryadan Mohammed will attend the meet. The KMRL authorities said the first disbursement of the rehabilitation and resettlement package for the affected parties would also be given on the day.