Everything you need to know about Kerala’s first metro Kochi Metro!

The 13-kilometer-long Kochi Metro, which was built at a cost of Rs5,181 crores will have a total of 22 stations, with 11 stations in the first phase, running from Palarivattom to Aluva.

Kerala’s first Metro service, Kochi Metro has opened to the general public after a grand inauguration ceremony by PM Modi. The first train carrying city residents left Palarivattom and Aluva stations at 6 am. For most of the people, it was joy ride as they thronged ticket counters as early as 4.45am.

The 13-kilometer-long Kochi Metro, which was built at a cost of Rs5,181 crores will have a total of 22 stations, with 11 stations in the first phase, running from Palarivattom to Aluva.

Kochi is the 8th city to get a metro service after Kolkata (1984), Delhi (2002), Bengaluru (2011), Jaipur (2013), Gurgaon (2013), Mumbai (2014) and Chennai (2015.) But The Kochi Metro will have many ‘firsts’ for India.

Here are some reasons to be proud of Kerala’s first metro service.

1. Completed in Record Time

Unlike the Chennai Metro or Bengaluru’s Namma Metro, which has been dogged by delay and controversy, the first 13km stretch of Kochi Metro was completed in record time and incorporating state-of-the-art communication facilities that none other metros in India possess.

2. Always Right-On-Time

Kochi Metro is the first to use Communication Based Train Control technology which will help in having maximum frequencies and minimal errors. here would be 219 trips between 6 am and 10 pm from Monday.

3. Kochi Metro uses Solar

In order to reduce the electricity usage, all metro stations have solar panels fitted on the rooftop. The combined output of all solar panels is whooping 2.3 MW of power. KMRL aims to meet as much as half of its electricity demands through solar power in the coming future.

4. Kochi-1 Smart Card

For cashless travel, KMRL has issued a smart card called the Kochi-1 Smart Card. Kochi-1 card is aimed at cashless travel in trains, and also for commercial transactions just like regular debit cards. This is not just a travel card it is much more.

5. Vertical Garden a first in Kerala

Every sixth pillar of Kochi Metro rail will have a vertical garden.

The vertical gardens will use compost generated from the municipal waste as fertiliser.

6. Bike sharing service

KMRL also launched a bike sharing service for short point to point travel.  Commuters can use bicycles to travel short distance within the city limits.  This membership based program is completely free. The bicycles can be used free of cost for 100 hours per month and the usage will automatically get blocked beyond 100 hours.

7. Water Metro

Kochi will be the only city in India to have a Water Metro service.  It is envisaged as a feeder service to Kochi Metro. The first phase of Kochi Water Metro will be completed by the last quarter of 2019. The Water Metro will connect 10 panchayats. They have identified 16 routes. Water metro along with feeder buses and Kochi metro rail will form an integrated mobility project.

8. Transgender Employees

Kochi Metro is the first government agency in the country to employ transgenders. KMRL has appointed a total of 23 transgenders. They will be trained and deployed as ground staff at Metro Stations.

9. Women Participation

Kochi Metro also has women as their major part of the workforce. The women participation in Kochi Metro is 80%. This includes seven women loco pilots.

10. Each Station has a unique theme

All the stations are majestic with interior and ambience that is on par with an Airport terminal. Each 11 stations of Kochi Metro have a unique artwork that fills the walls of the stations.

The theme includes, beautify of Western Ghats to Kerala’s rich bio-diversity and also Kochi’s royal heritage.

11. Disabled-friendly stations and coaches

All the stations and coaches of Kochi Metro are designed to make them disabled and elderly-friendly. There are special provisions for wheelchair and coaches have reserved seats for disabled people. Seats meant for women travelling with children, children, and the elderly have also been marked with specific colours.

12. Sneha Yathra

Image Credit: The News Minute

Image Credit: The News Minute

Before the Metro was opened to general public, KMMRL conducted a “Snehayathra” for people from neglected sections of society. Children and others living in orphanages, old-age homes, etc were given a free ride in Kochi Metro before opening it to the public.

13. Showing gratitude

KMRL took the time to say thanks to 800 migrant workers, whose sweat and blood made Kerala’s first metro service a reality. KMRL served traditional Kerala meal for all of its migrant workers and honoured them. In return, the workers jotted down their names on a message board in support of the metro project.

Kochi Metro is the result of sweat and relentless hard work of so many people from top officials to low end workers. Every stage of the project faced hurdles and for many years it stuck in planning phase alone. However, Kochi Metro has survived all that hurdles. There is a notion that, no big projects or developments will ever happen in Kerala but Kochi Metro breaks down that stereotype. Kochi Metro has taken Kochi into the league of other cities like Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore. This is Kochi Metro – Kerala’s own Metro Rail.

Share your thoughts