Friday, August 29, 2008

Kochi Metro may finally see light of day

The Planning Commission has convened an inter-departmental meeting here Friday to discuss a delayed Metro rail project in Kerala, a senior government official said.

The project, slated to come up in Kochi, has seen no effective progress since 2006, when the work was to start.

'The meeting will discuss, among other things, the funding part of the project,' urban development secretary M. Ramachandran told IANS.

'We hope the meeting will help the project to take off. There is no point in delaying the project any longer,' added Ramachandran.

Friday's meeting is scheduled to be attended by top officials from the ministry of urban development and finance, apart from the plan panel, which has to sanction the outlay.

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation -, the consultant and implementing agency for the Kochi Metro, submitted the project report way back in July 2005.

If approved, Kochi, the commercial hub of Kerala, will become the second southern city after Bangalore where Metro services will begin in a few years. The Bangalore project is scheduled to be completed by 2011.

Had the work started as per schedule in 2006, Metro trains would have started chugging in Kochi by 2009.

Delhi and Kolkata are the only cities in India where Metro rail services are already operational.

The estimated cost of the 25-km long Kochi Metro project is around at Rs.3,000 crore -, with the state and the centre each putting up 15 percent of the outlay.

Ramachandran said the remaining will be funded through loans from financial institutions.

The state government is keen to get the project funded by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation -, which has funded Delhi's Metro project as well.

A section of traders and businessmen have objected to the Kochi Metro's scheduled route along the city's arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road.

But Ramachandran said it was too late to draw up a fresh route.

'The alignment change is not feasible. It will further delay the project and cost will also shoot up,' he added.


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kochi Metro Rail Project hanging fire

The recent high-level official talks between the Kerala government and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) have once again infused hope for starting the proposed elevated Metro Rail Project for Kochi, which has been hanging fire for the past two years for various reasons.

The enthusiasm of the government and DMRC notwithstanding, numerous bottlenecks plague the project, which was expected to be an answer to the severe traffic congestion in the city, the commercial hub of the state.

The recent review of preliminary work on the project by the secretary in the Union Urban Development ministry, M Ramachandran and assertion of Ernakulam District collector, Dr M Beena, that land acquisition process will continue, despite protests from some businessmen on the project alignment, has again shown that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

The project, which would have changed the face of Kochi, ran into trouble right from the beginning as some businessmen protested against the scheduled route of the metro line through the arterial Mahatma Gandhi road.

Ramachandran had then pointed out that a change of alignment was not feasible since it would steeply escalate the cost and further delay the project.

If work on the project had started in 2006, it would have been ready by 2009 at a cost of Rs 2,239 crore.

The DMRC had submitted a detailed project report in July 2005, envisaging a 25.253 km railway line connecting nearby Aluva and Pettah in the first stage and extending it to Tripunithura in the second phase.


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kochi Metro Rail to cost Rs 3,084 crore

Kerala Sports and Youth Affairs Minister M Vijayakumar today told State Assembly the total cost of the proposed Metro Rail at Kochi was expected to be Rs 3,084 crore.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kochi Metro Rail Route map

image © The HinduKochi Metro rail route map

Click on the route map for larger image

Kochi Metro rail route map - Click on the map to enlarge

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Metro advantageous for Kochi: experts

Town planners say that a mass rapid transport system such as the metro rail is inevitable in Kochi – a city whose residents have been much inconvenienced because of incessant traffic snarls. Senior Town Planner of the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) V. Gopalakrishna Pillai said that he recently got a first-hand experience of the metro rail system in New Delhi.

He termed as flimsy, allegations by detractors of the project that the road between the pillars that support the rails would become slums. “I could not find any slum beneath the rails in Delhi.

“The metro is a good means of mass rapid transport. Business activity in many parts of the city will have to be wound up, in the absence of a good mode of public transport. Care has to be taken so that the system is integrated with other modes of transport like boats, railways and buses.”

Mr. Pillai spoke of the urgent need to widen roads that might impede traffic flow when the work is on.

Utilities like cables, pipelines and posts too have to be shifted. The Shanmukham Road alignment will considerably benefit lawyers attending the High Court and district courts, apart from boat commuters and Goshree islanders.

Former Senior Town Planner and former member secretary of the GCDA and Trivandrum Development Authority, K. Joseph Alexander, said that the estimated cost of Rs.3,000 crore is not too high, considering the huge socio-economic and environmental benefits of the project.

“It would be ideal if the metro goes underground as it passes through Shanmukham Road. Shops near metro stations will considerably benefit from the shopping by commuters,”


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Kochi Metro likely to be ready by 2011

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), the consultants for the Rs 3,048-crore elevated light rail Kochi Metro, has turned down request for change in Kochi Metro alignments. Civil work on the project, scheduled this month, was in jeopardy following local traders pleading change in the route.

“Since DMRC has refused to oblige the traders’ demands, work will go on as per the original schedule and route,” M Vijayakumar, state minister in charge of metro-rail, said. It is feared that further changes may make the project unattractive to investors.

Only as much as 15% of the stakes in the Kochi Metro Rail PPP is claimed by the state government. Rest is open to private promoters. The project is also counting on support from the Planning Commission.

The elevated light rail Kochi Metro is scheduled to be ready for public use within three years from starting of the work. Since only 26 hectares of land is needed, (as the transport is on elevated rail structures), less than 16 acres needs to be acquired. So work on the metro rail is under way. As per the present indications, the rail is expected to be functional by end of 2011.

Traders in Kochi, anxious that long-drawn construction activities, may stall free movement in the city, had mooted change in alignment put forward by DMRC. They also argued that the DPR (detail project report) was yet to be made public. The present alignment of the metro rail running 25.3 km from Edapally to Tripunithura was originally suggested by a study by RITES.

Following the mele over alignment, senior DMRC officials had visited the site in February to make inspections. The recommendation was that no change in the original alignment is called for, DMRC has informed the state government.


No change in Kochi Metro Rail alignment

Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs M.Vijayakumar ruled out any change in the alignment of the proposed Kochi Metro Rail project here on Wednesday.

The government will go ahead with the project despite a demand for change of alignment from a section of traders, the Minister told mediapersons.

Mr. Vijayakumar, who is also in charge of the Railways, said the government had asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, implementing agency of the project, to look into the demand of the shop owners on M.G. Road.

However, the Corporation opposed any change in alignment on technical and financial grounds. Hence, the government had no option but to go ahead with the original proposal. The shop owners wanted the project to be aligned through Shanmugham Road instead of M.G. Road since the project would affect the business establishments there. The government would hold talks with the shop owners.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Rs.3 crore Fund for COCHIN(KOCHI) metro rail project allotted for land acquisition

A day after the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) decided not to make any changes in the present alignment of the proposed Kochi metro rail project; the State government has further allotted Rs.3 crore to the district administration for the land acquisition process.

The fund will be utilised for meeting various expenses, including payment of compensation to those who surrender their land for the project, District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish said here on Tuesday.

The government had earlier allotted Rs.1 crore towards preliminary expenses for the land acquisition process, including that of a joint inspection of the project route by DMRC and district revenue officials.

The DMRC had on Monday effectively closed the door on sections of shop owners who had been demanding a change in alignment.

While dismissing the demand for realigning the project through Shanmugham road instead of MG Road on grounds of technical and financial feasibility, DMRC had made it clear that any flip-flop with the alignment would have a delaying effect on the project.

The Collector said demarcation of land for the project would be hastened. Demarcation process in Thrikkakkara North, Aluva West and Edappally North had already been completed.

The notification authorising land acquisition would be issued in the remaining villages — Thripunithura, Elamkulam, Edappally North and South, Thrikkakkara North and Aluva West — through which the project passes. So far, the notification had only been issued in Ernakulam village.

A monitoring committee to be held on Wednesday will discuss the problems connected with the construction of a railway overbridge between Mulavukad and Vallarpadam as part of the rail connectivity for the Vallarpadam International Container Transhipment Terminal.

There had been complaints that the piling for the construction of the bridge had created cracks in the houses in the vicinity.

The meeting, to be chaired by Mulavukad grama panchayat president Prema Anilkumar, will be held at the Vallarpadam site office at 11 a.m. The Kanayannur tahsildar, police officials, representatives of the Cochin Port Trust and the aggrieved local residents will participate in the meeting.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Kochi Metro rail project to start next month

Rs 3,048-crore Kochi Metro rail project

Civil work on Rs 3,048-crore Kochi Metro Rail is slated to get cracking next month(April 2008). The Elevated Light Rail Kochi Metro PPP would be ready for public use in three years, according to M Vijayakumar, Kerala minister in charge of rail transport.

“Only about 26 hectares of land (as the rail in elevated) will be required. Of this 16 acres is of private ownership. Within a year, the necessary land acquisition can be completed,” Vijayakumar told the Assembly in reply to a question.

It is DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) that’s implementing the Kochi public transport PPP through a SPV (special purpose vehicle).

The Kerala governement had earlier decided to put 15% equity (Rs 450 crore) in the new entity.

Kochi Metro rail is planned in the 26 km stretch between Tripunithura and Aluva. “We have noticed that the width of National Highway may get affected when the concrete pillars are set up for the elevated light rail.

Some technical solution for this problem will be thrashed out soon,” the minister said.


Monday, March 3, 2008

Kochi metro rail begins Land demarcation

The demarcation of land for the proposed Kochi Metro Rail project started in Aluva on Monday.

Demarcation along the project route by laying boundary stones started from near the Aluva railway station — the starting point of the 25.3-km long line.

The demarcation and survey will be carried out in all eight villages through which the elevated rail passes. Revenue officials said it was hard to fix a completion date. Asked when the acquisition process was expected to be over, officials said it was impossible to predict considering the hurdles that had cropped up in the acquisition process in other projects.

Based on the measurements fixed during the demarcation, the officials will draw up sub-divisional records. This was essential to issue notification authorising acquisition process in the remaining seven villages.

At present, the notification had been issued only in Ernakulam village. In the remaining seven villages — Thripunithura, Elamkulam, Edappally North and South, Thrikkakkara North, Aluva West and Nadama — the notification is yet to be issued.

The notification authorising survey had been issued in all villages except Nadama. Once the demarcation process was complete, a draft declaration would be issued. Fixing basic price for the land to be acquired will follow.

Revenue authorities would then place the price before the landowners by convening district-level purchase committees. Of the total land required for the project, 41 acres would be acquired from private landowners.

The total cost of land acquisition is pegged at Rs.75 to Rs.100 crore.

The State government had already allotted Rs.1 crore towards meeting the preliminary expenses for land acquisition. Once started, the acquisition process is expected to be over in eight months.

The elevated rail will pass through Kalamassery, Edappally, Palarivattom, MG Road and Kadavanthra.

Meanwhile, there was a proposal to extend link to Nedumbassery.

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation is in the process of drawing up a detailed project report on the scope of this proposal.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Kochi Metro may extend to Nedumbaserry

The Kerala Government has asked the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to consider extending the proposed Kochi Metro to the Nedumbaserry International Airport as that would generate more revenue while incurring only a minimal increase in cost.

State Fisheries and Registration Minister S Sarma told reporters here today that a team of DMRC officials had conducted a site survey of the proposed three km extension from Aluva to the airport this morning.

''Prima facie, they have not found any obstacles to extend the metro to the airport. The team will submit its report to the higher authorities in DMRC. The State Government will also write to the DMRC on this,'' Mr Sarma said.

As per the present alignment, the Kochi Metro rail would run from Aluva to Tripunithura, a route of 25.3 km, at a cost of Rs 3,000 crore. According to reports, the extension of the metro to Nedumbaserry would entail an additional cost of Rs 300 crore. On the Vallarpadam issue, Mr Sarma said the State Government had decided to request the Centre to provide jobs to members of the families being displaced by the international container transshipment terminal. On being asked about the Thrissur vigilance court ordering an inquiry into the lowering of registration fee in the controversial HMT land deal, Mr Sarma said the State Government would inquire into the matter and if any irregularity was found, action would be taken against the officials concerned.


The Kochi Metro Rail

Land acquisition to cost Rs.100 crore

25 acres for coach servicing depot at Muttom

Land acquisition to be completed within eight months


KOCHI: The Kochi metro rail project received a shot in the arm on Friday with two officials of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) conducting an inspection of the project route jointly with Revenue officials.

The DMRC officials — Kumar Kesav, chief project manager, and V.C. Koshy, executive engineer, along with other officials, inspected the section from the Aluva railway station area (where the proposed rail will begin) to Edapally. The team will begin inspection of the section from Pettah, the other end of the proposed alignment, on Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the DMRC officials held a discussion with District Collector A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish. R. Ramadevi, deputy collector (Land Acquisition), and T.K. Baby, special tahsildar (Land Acquisition) for the metro rail project, were also present. “The inspection of the entire project area of 25.3 km will be completed in two days.

The District Collector said the exercise would help in marking the exact area for the project. Twenty-five acres of land at Muttom would be used to construct a coach-servicing depot,” he said.

Mr. Hanish said only portions of some buildings located very close to the road would be pulled down for land acquisition.

The acquisition will be completed within 7 to 8 months. A good portion of the acquired land will be used to build stations, planned every kilometre. The State government has sanctioned Rs.1 crore for the preliminary expenses for the acquisition process. The total cost for land acquisition is estimated between Rs. 75 crore and Rs. 100 crore.

He said of the total land required for the project, 41 acres was under private ownership and was spread over seven villages — Thripunithura, Elamkulam, Ernakulam, Edappally North and South, Thrikkakkara North and Aluva West. The ‘6.1 notification’ under the Survey and Borders Act had been issued in Ernakulam village, enabling the survey and inspection process.

Mr. Kesav informed the Collector that as such, there was no change in the alignment of the project. The Collector spoke of the need to have an authorised representative of the DMRC stationed in the city. He said Central assistance for the project was under the consideration of the Planning Commission. Once the financial model was decided and the Kochi Metro Rail Corporation was formed, the KMRC could take over the construction of the metro rail under the supervision of the DMRC.

The Collector briefed the DMRC officials about the preliminary survey of the project area, carried out by Revenue officials based on the detailed project report. As of now, expansion of the existing buildings and construction of new structures, along with land transactions in the project area remained regulated, subject to the No Objection Certificate issued by the Collector.

The metro rail is estimated to cost over Rs. 3,000 crore. The elevated 25.30-km rail line will link Aluva and Pettah in Thripunithura and pass through Kaloor, M.G. Road and S.A. Road.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Kochi Metro Rail Project Approved

The Kerala Cabinet has approved the Rs 3,000 crore Kochi Metro Rail project and sent it to the Centre for ratification, Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan said in Thiruvananthapuram.

The project envisages having rail transport facility on an elevated platform between Aluva and Tripunithura covering a distance of 25 km and would be implemented by Delhi Metro Corporation, Achuthanandan said after a cabinet meeting.

The State’s share in the project would be Rs 450 crore and it was also proposed to set up a Corporation similar to the Delhi Metro Corporation to execute the project, expected to ease the transportation problem of Kochi city.

It was a joint venture project of the state and Centre. Funds for the project would be mobilised by all partners, he said.


Kochi Metro Rail Project

The Kochi metro rail project is an undertaking of the state government of Kerala. The metro rail project at Kochi is meant to facilitate transportation in the industrial city of Kochi. Currently, the means of transport in the city of Kochi are limited to auto rickshaws, buses, taxis and ferries. With the execution of the metro rail project in Kochi, traveling from one place to another in the city will not pose any more problems.

The government of Kerala has sought the active participation of the private sector companies to carry out this massive project of transportation with success. The metro rail project of Kochi is planned on BOT basis.

A couple of people who hold important posts in the government of Kerala have been selected to look after the overall work related to the project. Sheela Thomas, the secretary of the Kerala government, has been designated the special officer in relation of this project.

The project is planned to set up a metro rail connection as long as 25.253 kms. The proposed starting point of this metro rail connection is the place called Alwaye and the proposed ending point is the place called Pettah.

The Kochi metro rail project has a lot of significance, because of the economic significance of Kochi. The city of Kochi earns a lot of revenues for the entire state of Kerala, through its variety of industries. Therefore, to cater to the industrial needs of the city, the infrastructure of transport communication has become one of the most important concerns of the government. The metro rail project of Kochi is a part of the initiative of the Kerala government to better the infrastructure of the city.


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