The PM and other dignitaries on board the Kochi Metro. (Image tweeted by PMO India)

PM Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated Kochi’s metro rail service. It is scheduled to start commercial operations on Monday. The 13 km long Phase-1 of Kochi Metro has 11 stations with an end to end travel time of 25 minutes. On Monday trains will begin operations simultaneously from two end stations: Aluva and Palarivattom at 6 AM.

PM Modi cut the inaugural ribbon at Palarivattom station. Following that he took a ride on a train from there to Pathadippalam. His entourage comprised ‘Metro Man’ E Sreedharan, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, urban development secretary Rajiv Gouba and Kerala chief secretary Nalini Netto, among others.

After Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Chennai and Jaipur- Kochi is the eighth city in India to have its own metro rail service.

It is the country’s first integrated multi-model transport system. Aside from the rail network, Kochi Metro will also have a ‘water metro’, which will be a feeder service. Air-conditioned and Wi-Fi enabled catamarans will be used for this.
Kochi Metro is the first metro service in India to use solar energy extensively. 22 stations on the final 25-km full stretch of the rail line will have solar panels. It is the first government agency in India to hire transgender people.
“Nearly 1000 women and 23 transgenders are being selected to work in Kochi Metro rail system,” the PM said after inaugurating the service.

The construction of the Kochi Metro started four years ago. The estimated completion cost of the project is Rs. 5181.79 Cr. The fare will vary from Rs. 15 to  of Rs. 30.

“The system will have a common timetable, common ticketing, and centralized command and control. It also focuses on improving last-mile connectivity and non-motorized transportation systems in the inner city,” the PM was quoted as saying.