Modi launches projects of Kochi Metro and Railways worth Rs. 4,500 crore in Kerala
Kochi, September 1, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stones and dedicated to the nation various projects of Kochi Metro and Indian Railways worth around Rs 4,500 crore here on Thursday.
Modi, who arrived here on a two-day visit to the state, visited Shri Adi Shankara Janmabhoomi Kshetram at Kalady village in Kochi earlier in the day.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister noted that every nook and corner of Kerala is filled with the joy of the festival of Onam. “On this auspicious occasion, Kerala has been gifted with connectivity projects worth more than Rs 4,600 crore," he said.
Remarking on the Azadi ka Amrit Kaal (75 years of independence), Modi said the people had resolved to build a developed India in the coming 25 years. “Modern infrastructure has a big role in this roadmap of developed India,” he added.
Modi recalled that, in 2017, he had inaugurated the Kochi Metro. Today, Phase I extension of Kochi Metro was inaugurated and the foundation stone of the second phase was laid.
He said that the second phase Kochi Metro would prove to be a boon for youth and professionals. "Impetus-led development is taking place in the entire country when it comes to transport and urban development,” he said.
Remarking on the implementation of The Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority in Kochi, the Prime Minister said that this authority will work to integrate all the modes of transport, such as metro, bus, waterway etc. “With this model of multimodal connectivity, the city of Kochi will have three direct benefits. This will reduce the travel time of the people of the city, reduce the traffic on the roads and reduce the pollution in the city. To protect the environment, India has taken the colossal pledge of net zero, it will also help in that. This will reduce the carbon footprint," he said.
Modi said that, in the last eight years, his government had worked continuously to make Metro the most prominent mode of urban transport. He said the Central government had expanded metro to big cities in states, not just the capitals.
He said the first metro in the country ran about 40 years ago and in the next 30 years, merely 250 km of metro routes were added. He said more than 500 km of metro routes were laid in the last eight years and workon more than 1000 km is taking place rapidly.
"We are completely transforming Indian Railways. Today, railway stations in the country are also being developed like airports,” he said.
Modi said the doubling of the Ettumanoor-Chingavanam-Kottayam track would be a boon for devotees visiting Sabarimala from across the country.
Highlighting the ongoing work in Kerala, the Prime Minister said that different infrastructure projects worth Rs 1 lakh crore are taking place at present.
“From agriculture to industries, this modern infrastructure will create new employment opportunities in Kerala. The central government is giving a lot of emphasis on the connectivity of Kerala. Our government is also converting NH 66, which is called the lifeline of Kerala, into a 6-lane highway. More than 55 thousand crore rupees are being spent on this,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that tourism and trade make the most out of modern and better connectivity. Tourism is such an industry, in which people from all classes and from villages and cities could join and earn.
He said that various incentives for entrepreneurship in the tourism sector are being provided.
He said that the Mudra scheme is helping the needy with loans up to Rs 10 lakh and that too without a guarantee.
“Under this scheme in Kerala, more than 70 thousand crore rupees have been given to lakhs of small entrepreneurs as a helping hand, he said.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan, State Ministers, MPs and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
Among the projects inaugurated today is 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 crore.
Modi laid the foundation stone for the Phase II stretch of the Metro 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.
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. Devotees bound for Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Shrine can 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 and Punalur.
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. 1,050 crore. 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.