Kochi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched and laid the foundation stones of various projects of Kochi Metro and the railways worth ₹4,500 crores in Kerala and said that the Centre has invested around ₹1 lakh crore in infrastructure projects going on in the state.
The Prime Minister flagged off the extension of the first phase of Kochi Metro and laid the foundation stone for its phase 2. There were five different projects of the Indian Railways.
“These projects will speed up the ease of living and also ease of doing business. The road map for development of the country in the next 25 years is beginning in Kerala today. The Unified Metropolitan Authority which comprises of the metro, the water metro, and the bus service in Kochi is going to be multi-model connectivity which will see faster transportation, lesser pollution, and lesser traffic congestion,” said Modi.
₹1 lakh crore invested on Kerala’s infrastructure projects
Enumerating how the Central Government is committed to revamp infrastructure of the state, Modi said that of the ₹1 lakh crore, an allocation of ₹55,000 crore was made to build the six-lane NH 66, which is communication lifeline of the state. The upgraded NH will give boost to tourism and trade to the state.
The projects that saw light of the day
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Phase I extension of the Kochi Metro Rail Project from Petta to SN junction. The total cost of the project is over Rs 700 crores. Kochi Metro Rail project will be one of the most sustainable metro projects in the country with nearly 55% of its energy needs being met by solar power.
Foundation laid for Phase-II of Kochi metro rail project
The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for the Phase –II stretch of the Kochi Metro rail project from JLN stadium to Infopark, having a length of 11.2 km and covering 11 stations. The total estimated cost of this project is around Rs. 1,950 crores.
The proposed Phase II corridor of the Kochi Metro Rail Project is aimed at catering to the growing transportation needs of Kochi City and is planned in such a way that it connects the District Headquarters, Special Economic Zone and IT Hub of the city with the existing metro rail network.
On completion, the combined Phase I and Phase II metro network will link the major residential and commercial hubs in the city with major transit hubs such as railway stations and bus stands, thus reinforcing the concept of multi-modal integration and last-mile connectivity.
Double track of Kuruppanthara-Chingavanam rail section opened
The Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation, the doubling of the Kuruppanthara-Kottayam-Chingavanam rail section, completed at the cost of nearly Rs.750 crore. With this, the entire stretch from Thiruvananthapuram to Mangaluru is fully doubled, promising faster and seamless connectivity.
Significantly, lakhs of devotees bound for Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Shrine can conveniently alight at Kottayam or Chengannur railway station in the doubled section and proceed by road to Pamba. The Prime Minister also dedicated to the nation the newly electrified rail section between Kollam – Punalur.
3 railway stations to be redeveloped
The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone for the redevelopment of three railway stations in Kerala – Ernakulam Junction, Ernakulam Town and Kollam. The total estimated cost of these station redevelopment projects is around Rs. 1050 crores. These railway stations will be equipped with state-of-the-art amenities and world-class facilities such as dedicated arrival/departure corridors, skywalks, solar panels, sewage treatment plants, energy-efficient lighting, rain-water harvesting and intermodal transport facilities.