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New Delhi : PM Narendra Modi on June 17, 2017, inaugurated the Kochi Metro at Kochi, Kerala, and travelled briefly on the new metro line. He later addressed a large gathering at the function to dedicate Kochi Metro to the nation.

” I am happy to be part of the inauguration ceremony of Kochi Metro. I congratulate the people of Kochi on this proud moment. Kochi, the queen of the Arabian Sea, is an important spice trading centre. Today it is known as the commercial capital of Kerala. Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourist arrivals in Kerala. Hence it is fitting that Kochi should have a Metro rail facility,” PM Modi said, according to a PIB release.

The city’s population has been rising steadily and is expected to reach twenty three lakh by 2021. Therefore, a mass rapid transport system is essential to address the increasing pressure on urban infrastructure. This will also contribute to Kochi’s economic growth, the PM said.

Kochi Metro Rail Limited is a fifty – fifty Joint Venture of Government of India and Government of Kerala. The Union Government has so far released over Rs 2,000 crore for Kochi Metro. The phase  inaugurated on June 17  will operate from Aluva to Palarivattom. It will cover 13.26 km and eleven stations. It is the first metro project to be commissioned with a modern signalling system called the “Communication Based Train Control Signalling system”. The coaches reflect the “Make in India” vision. They have been built by Alstom of France, at their factory near Chennai, and have an Indian component of around seventy percent, according to the PIB release. The Kochi metro integrates the city’s entire public transportation network into a single system.
“I am informed that this Kochi-1 Card is a multi-purpose pre-paid contact-less RuPay card which can be used to travel in the metro and also like a normal debit card. Kochi will be one of the few cities in the world and the first in India to have a modern open-loop Smart Card, which can be used with other modes of transport like buses, taxies and autos as well. I am also informed that the Kochi-1 Mobile app has been developed with a long term vision. The mobile App has an Electronic-wallet integrated to it, which is linked to the Kochi-1 Card. Initially, it will enable citizens of Kochi to avail of metro services,” the PM said.

The PM said there is need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning, by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land-use and transport.  ” Towards this end, the Government of India issued a National Transit Oriented Development Policy in April 2017. This policy seeks to transform cities, from being transit dependent to being transit oriented,” he said.

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