Kochi Metro

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This article is about the elevated metro rail system. For the urban agglomeration, see Kochi metropolitan area.
Kochi Metro
Official Logo of KMRL.jpg
Overview
Native name കൊച്ചി മെട്രോ
Locale Kochi, Kerala, India
Transit type Rapid transit
Number of lines 1
Number of stations 23
Chief executive Elias George, MD
Headquarters 8th Floor, Revenue Tower, Park Avenue, Kochi[1]
Website Kochi Metro
Operation
Operation will start 7 June 2016
Operator(s) Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL)
Train length 3 coaches[2]
Headway 5 minutes[2]
Technical
System length 25.612 km (15.915 mi)
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge[3]
Electrification Third rail 750V DC[4]
Average speed 34 km/h (21 mph)[2]
Top speed 80 km/h (50 mph)[2]

Kochi Metro is an under-construction metro system for the city of Kochi in Kerala, India. The first phase is being set up at an estimated cost of INR5181 crore (US$820 million),[5] and is expected to be completed by 7 June 2016.[6]

Planning[edit]

The Route Map of Proposed Phase 1 of Kochi Metro Rail Network

On 22 December 2004, the Government of Kerala asked the DMRC to provide a detailed project report (DPR) for the project, which initially had a projected start date of 2006 and completion date of 2010.[7] The Kerala government hoped the Centre would approve a funding structure similar to that used for the Delhi Metro, but they were turned down.[8] The Union Government supported using public–private partnership (PPP) on the build-operate-transfer model.[9] The LDF wanted it to be in public sector, which was not accepted by the Central Government. The victory of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in the 2011 Kerala legislative assembly elections, changed the scenario in the state[10] and it was decided that the Kochi Metro would follow the Chennai Metro and Delhi Metro models, and would be implemented on a joint venture basis, with investments by the Central and State Government. A Cabinet decision was taken to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) called Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL) as per orders from Planning Commission and the Union Government for the implementation, operation and maintenance of the metro project.[11]

The Public Investment Board (PIB) cleared the project on 22 March 2012 subject to final approval by the Union Cabinet.[12] The Union Government's share of the cost would be 20.26%, or INR1002.23 crore (US$160 million).[13] On 28 March 2012, at a KMRL board meeting, the decision was taken to entrust the Kochi Metro rail project work to the DMRC. The number of metro stations on the line was set at 22.[14][15] On 3 July 2012, Union Government gave final clearance to the project. Then Managing Director of KMRL, Tom Jose said, "Now we will sit down with our valued partner, DMRC, and chalk out the way forward, obtaining advice and guidance from former DMRC Chief, E Sreedharan. We aim to complete the project within a span of 3 to 4 years." [16]

On 14 August 2012, the state government reconstituted the Board of Directors of KMRL. Power Secretary Elias George was appointed as the new Managing Director, replacing Tom Jose. It is believed that Jose's differences with Sreedharan led to the decision.[17][18] Chief Minister Oommen Chandy stated that it was part of administrative decision. The rest of the board would include the Chief Secretary, Finance Secretary and Water Resources Principal Secretary.[19]

The Director Board of Kochi Metro Rail Limited entrusted MD, KMRL to find alternate funding options for the project as advised by DEA (Department of Economic Affairs). As part of it, representatives of the French Development Agency (AFD) met the KMRL team as part of their pre-appraisal mission on 18–19 March 2013. The agency had detailed discussions with KMRL MD Elias George and other senior officials. They also visited the project alignment from Aluva to Petta to understand the project better. Mme. Aude Flogny, Regional Director, South Asia & Mr. Gautier Kohler, Project Coordinator India were there in the team.[20][21] Based on the inputs received from the pre-appraisal mission team of AFD, a formal detailed- appraisal mission team visited Kochi from 25–27 April 2013. The team included Senior Transport Expert of AFD, Mr. Xavier Hoang; AFD regional director for South Asia, Aude Flogny and Project Coordinator, Gautier Kohler. The team inspected the project site and held discussions relating to the funding for Kochi Metro Rail project. Kochi Metro Rail Limited is hoping to get a final commitment from the French financial agency AFD - Agence Française de Développement by the end of December 2013. AFD has stated that they could provide a loan of up to 130 million Euros which is around Rs. 10 billion. The next team from AFD is expected to be here in Kochi to evaluate the project during the month of September, 2013.

On 4 April 2013, KMRL's Director Board signed a contract with the DMRC.[22] The 22 proposed stations for the Kochi Metro were approved by the State Cabinet on 19 June 2013.[23]

DMRC will have to get the approval of KMRL if it wants to significantly deviate from the technical specifications.[24]

Controversy over DMRC's role[edit]

In December 2011, Kerala Minister for Public Works V.K. Ebrahim Kunju announced that the work would be offered by global tender. DMRC MD E. Sreedharan said he would not be interested in participating unless the DMRC was involved.[25] Citing the examples of metros in Bangalore and Chennai, he said, "They decided to take up the work on their own but had to depend on the DMRC for many things. I did not want Kochi to make the same mistake."[26]

On 3 January 2012, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy stated that E. Sreedharan would have final say on the metro project.[27]

Aryadan Mohammed, Minister for Power and Transport and the Vice Chairman of Existing Board of Directors, said that the Kerala Government had decided as early as in March 2010 that Sreedharan would be in charge of the project. "There are no doubts about this. It was the Kerala Cabinet which had taken this decision and there would be no change in it," he said.[28]

Some government ministers and IAS officials alleged that Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) norms do not allow awarding of contract to an agency which did the consultancy for a project.[29] However, DMRC principal adviser E. Sreedharan has stated that the CVC norms would not apply in this case, as the contract is between two government agencies. Another issue for the metro was that DMRC had to obtain permission of its director's board to undertake projects outside Delhi.[30]

On 8 January 2013, following a high level meeting attended by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, Minister of Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi, Union Minister K.V. Thomas, DMRC Principal Advisor E. Sreedharan, Union Urban Development Secretary Sudheer Krishna, Chief Secretary Jose Syriac, KMRL MD Elias George, DMRC MD Mangu Singh, Union Minister for Urban Development Kamal Nath officially confirmed that DMRC would undertake the work of Kochi Metro.[31]

Support for DMRC[edit]

The Corporation of Cochin and Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany supported handing over work to DMRC. The Mayor launched a campaign promoting DMRC on his Facebook page. The Mayor also launched the website [www.supportkochimetro.in], on 24 October 2012. Chammany had stated that, "Government of Kerala and the Corporation of Cochin along with the people of Kerala unanimously want the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to take up the work of Kochi metro which will be crucial to the growth and development of Cochin City."[32] Opposition parties in the state, on several occasions, expressed support for the DMRC and alleged that corruption and delays would occur in the project if it was not handed to DMRC. JICA asked the KMRL to ensure the support of DMRC on 1 December 2012. Takeshi Fukayama of JICA said, "DMRC has an expertise in implementing the project and so, KMRC should take their support in executing the project. KMRC should use the expertise of DMRC for implementing the project."[33][34]

Public support was overwhelmingly in favour of DMRC and Sreedharan. On 27 October 2012, Kochiites formed a 25 km human chain from Aluva to Petta, demanding work be handed over to DMRC. The protest was organized by the City Development Committee.[35][36]

Preparatory work and supporting activities[edit]

The DMRC felt that it was necessary to undertake preparatory works to avoid disruptions to commuters during the construction of the Kochi Metro. The agency suggested five preparatory works to the State government, which approved all five projects in March 2010. The preparatory works were intended to be completed before constructing the metro.[37] The works included the widening of 3 arterial roads and the construction of a new rail overbridge (RoB) near KSRTC station and a foot overbridge.[38][39] The A.L. Jacob RoB near the KSRTC stand, commissioned on 12 May 2013, was the first of the five works to be completed. Apart from the five originally proposed projects, some additional projects such as the construction of the Ernakulan North RoB,[37] and the flyover at Edapally were also carried out.

The work was being undertaken by DMRC initially but was later undertaken by KMRL, due to a shortage of qualified personnel with the DMRC.[40] Other projects include construction of a new RoB connecting Mullassery Canal Road and Salim Rajan Road, and the widening of the Town Hall-Madhava Pharmacy Junction stretch, and Jos Junction-South Railway Station road.[41] The DMRC will execute all preparatory works. The State Government had set apart INR 1.58 billion for preliminary works. On 3 March 2012, KMRL handed over INR 150 million to DMRC for undertaking the preparatory works. The DMRC had been given INR 230 million earlier.[42][43][44][45] The DMRC will also build a INR1.35 billion (US$21 million) flyover at Edappally.[46]

A.L. Jacob RoB[edit]

A.L. Jacob Railway Over Bridge on Salim Rajan Road

An overbridge on Salim Rajan road was planned to be built before commencement of work on the metro itself. Construction of the bridge began in October–November 2011,[47][48][49] and was opened to the public on 12 May 2013.[50] On the same day, Chief Minister Oomen Chandy announced that the bridge would be officially named A.L. Jacob RoB.[51][52][53][54][55]

Road widening and resurfacing[edit]

The 450-metre Ernakulam Town Hall-Madhava Pharmacy Junction stretch in Banerjee Road will be widened to a 22 metre wide, 4-lane road by the end of July 2013.[56] A total of 56 cents of land had to acquired in the stretch. The work is estimated to cost INR90 million (US$1.4 million).[56]

Delays in widening the Vyttila – Petta road affected work on the metro's fourth reach, with contractor Era Infra Engineering unable to start work,[57] until mid-November 2013.[58]

For the purpose of traffic diversion, KMRL resurfaced 21 roads in and around the city. Kerala Construction Corporation did the work with five-year guarantee using BMBC specifications for a cost of INR16.31 crore (US$2.6 million). KMRL also recruited traffic wardens in different part of the city to help police to control traffic.[59]

Flyover at Edappally[edit]

KMRL and the Kerala Public Works Department (PWD) signed an agreement on 22 July 2013, to build an INR1.08 billion (US$17 million) flyover at Edapally[60] to reduce the congestion at the junction of NH 47 and NH 17 at Edappally.[61] The DMRC was appointed to implement the project. Construction on the flyover was inaugurated by Works Minister V.K. Ebrahim Kunju on 21 November 2013, and is expected to be completed in two years.[47][48]

Other works[edit]

Pachalam RoB[edit]

On 21 February 2014, the Kerala High Court expressed its displeasure over the failure of the Kochi Corporation to finalise the final alignment of the proposed rail over bridge (ROB) at Pachalam submitted by the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation. The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A.M. Shafeeque directed the corporation to place on record the final alignment of the ROB by 2 April 2014. The Bench observed that the civic body had "not moved an inch", after the discussion on the alignment submitted by the Roads and Bridges Development Corporation in 2011.[62]

The Pachalam RoB was approved in-principle by the Kochi Corporation on 10 February 2014.[63] The RoB received approval from the State Cabinet on 26 February.[64] The 2-lane, 10-metre wide RoB is estimated to cost INR 520 million, and will be constructed by the DMRC.[63] About 52 cents of land will be acquired for the project.[65]

The foundation stone for the project was laid on 4 March,[66] and construction is expected to complete in 6 months.[67]

Shifting Vytilla station[edit]

Based on the guidelines of ministry of Urban Development to integrate various mode of transport, Kochi Metro Rail Limited decided to shift Vyttila station to Vyttila Mobility Hub. Long distance buses operate out of Vyttila hub and the hub authorities are planning to build a new boat jetty there as the part of their second phase of development. Thus, the Kochi metro project became the first metro in the country which connects rail, road and water transport facilities.[68]

New KSRTC parking lot[edit]

A parking lot at Karakkamuri was provided to KSRTC, when KMRL took over the parking space to carry out preparatory works associated with Kochi metro project. In return for the land used for Salim Rajan RoB KMRL reconstructed the inspection ramp for KSRTC.[69] But, as rains started, the new parking lot became murky with slush and mud and it became difficult for drivers to drive out vehicles resulting in creation of traffic blocks in the city. Following KSRTC's complaint, KMRL handed over the task of relaying the ground to KSCC for a budget of INR55 lakh (US$87,000).[70]

Thevara-Perandoor canal cleaning[edit]

Water logging is a major problem in Kochi, and is the main cause damage to the roads in the city. The uninterrupted flow of water through the canals is the best way to prevent the water logging in the city. To ensure the smooth traffic in the city, KMRL cleaned the Thevara– Perandoor Canal, a major canal of Kochi. The cleaning work contracted to the Kerala Shipping and Inland Navigation Corporation (KSINC) for an amount of INR2.62 crore (US$420,000).[71]

Land Acquisition[edit]

The total amount of land required for the project is 40.409 hectares. The total land required for all stations is 9.3941 hectares, including area required for parking lots. Aluva, Pettah, Kalamassery, Edappally and Kaloor stations will have larger parking areas requiring about 2.7869 hectares of land. The coach depot at Muttom requires 23.605 hectares of land, higher than the originally estimated 17 hectares.[72][73][74][75] Approximately, 4.6 hectares of land will be required for widening curves and stretches where the metro's viaduct is positioned outside the median. Apart from the above, 102.50 cents of land is required for preparatory works, and 94 hectares in Muttom and 20 hectares of land in Kakkanad is to be acquired for developing the land for commercial use.[76]

The original plan was to acquire about 31.9216 hectares of land in Ernakulam, Elamkulam, Poonithura, Thrikkakara North, Edappally South and Aluva West. Out of this approximately, 17 hectares was for the Muttom coach maintenance depot. The remaining land was required for the construction of metro stations. Approximately, 15 hectares out of the required 31.92 was government owned land. However, the land required for parking at stations, road widening and straightening curves along the alignment were not assessed in the original plan.[77] The addition of parking lots increased the amount of land required by 8.4874 hectares.

The district-level purchase committee fixed the maximum compensation for land acquisition at INR 5.2 million per cent for the land to be acquired for preparatory works. The district administration can take ownership of land only after paying at least 80% of the price. Land acquisition for a foot overbridge near the KSRTC main depot will cost INR 2.8 million per cent and land for the approach road of the Ponnurunni railway overbridge will be acquired at INR 1850,000 per cent. The prices have been approved by the State Empowered Committee.[78][79] The total estimated cost of land acquisition is INR 11.10 billion., higher than the INR 6.72 billion estimated as per the original plan.[80][81]

The Kadavanthra station will be built on the land which housed GCDA's Nandanam park near the canal. Part of the land required was obtained from the Greater Cochin Development Authority on 13 February 2014.[82] The remaining land was owned by the KSEB, and was acquired separately.[83]

When the Railways demanded INR 3 billion for a 35-year lease of 4,360 square metres of land intended as the location of Ernakulam South metro station and other facilities, KMRL officials rejected the offer, as INR 3 billion worked out to about 8% of the metro project's total cost. The station was instead built on land owned by the Kochi Corporation near Ernakulam Girls' High School, while the Operations Control Centre was built in Muttom. The cost for the station was INR 100 million.[84]

Then District Collector M.G. Rajamanikyam announced on 7 March 2014 that land acquisition would take another three months.[85][86]

Construction[edit]

Ex-Prime Minister Manmohan Singh laid the foundation stone for the project on 13 September 2012.[87][88][89] Construction work on the Kochi Metro rail project began on 7 June 2013,[54] with the piling works for the viaducts near Changampuzha Park, after an official launch ceremony held at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium at 10:30am on the same day.[90][91][92][93] At the inauguration ceremony, the State Government announced that the metro would be extended a kilometre-and-a-half from Pettah to Tripunithura,[94] Construction work on metro's first station, at Kaloor, began at 10:30am IST on 30 September 2013, when Soma Constructions began piling.[95][96] The next station were piling work was carried out was Aluva.[97]

Several companies (Era Infra Engineering, Larsen & Toubro, and Soma Constructions) were contracted to build viaducts and stations.[98][99][100] Larsen and Toubro (L&T) was awarded the contract to construct the viaduct and 6 stations on the Kalamassery-Stadium stretch[101] in April 2013 at an estimated cost of INR4 billion (US$63 million).[102]

Some utilities along the planned route will have to be moved.[103] About 4.5 to 500,000 cubic metres of sand will be required for construction of the metro. It is planned to source the sand from rivers in Kerala, while using imported and/or manufactured sand is another option.[104]

The project will require 477 trees to be cut. DMRC has promised that it will plant 10 trees for each one it has to remove.[105][106] The tree planting program was launched on 21 June 2013, with 500 saplings planted by local students.[107] However, the saplings planted at the HMT land near Kalamassery, died due to a lack of proper care. KMRL plans to hire another agency to care for the trees.[108]

According to E. Sreedharan, the DMRC has set internal targets for the construction.[109] It aims to complete the 13 km Aluva-Palarivattom stretch by December 2015, and the remaining 12 km Palarivattom-Pettah stretch by March 2016.[110] The Chief Minister's target for completion of metro work was 1,095 days, however, the Sreedharan set DMRC staff the goal of completing it in 939 days.[111]

The metro's civil works faced some initial delays because of rain, labour issues, etc. but picked up towards end of 2013. Construction was expected to be carried out quickly until May, when it was expected to slow down again due to monsoon.[112]

Transport Minister Aryadan Mohammed stated on 14 December 2013 that he had asked the DMRC to replace Era Constructions, the contractor of the metro's fourth reach (Vytilla-Pettah), because the work was going too slowly. Mohammed stated that the DMRC would make the final call on replacing the contractor.[113] Construction of the South-Pettah stretch was slow partly due to a labour dispute.[112] By the end of December, DMRC officials announced that Era Constructions would be replaced. The New Indian Express quoted a DMRC official as saying, "The work of the Era has been found to be extremely unsatisfactory. They also do not have the financial capacity to go ahead with the contract, especially because Ranken, their Chinese partner, is not aiding them. The DMRC will call for re-tender for the work between South and Vyttila. We have asked Era Constructions to go ahead with the work at Vyttila."[114] Soma Constructions began preliminary work on the 1.6 km long South overbridge-Elamkulam reach[115][116] on 16 January.[117] The estimated cost of the works from South to Vytilla is INR 1.50 billion.[115]

Since the launch of the project 7 June 2013, the project has been delayed by bad weather, land acquisition problems, and labour disputes.[118] The DMRC said, "Most workers who owe allegiance to the unions are unskilled, but have to be paid wages equal to or more than that is paid to the skilled work force deployed by contractors. This is affecting the pace of works and the work culture."[119]

Sreedharan said on 4 March 2014 that the commissioning of the Kochi Metro would be delayed stating, "Owing to delays in land acquisition, the work on Metro rail can only be completed partially within the stipulated time. Road widening and land acquisition on the stretch between Vyttila and Pettah junctions have not been completed yet. This will delay completing the work on that stretch. We will be able to complete the work from Aluva to MG Road in the stipulated time."[120]

The first 'U' shaped concrete girder of the Kochi Metro Rail was successfully installed on Saturday 12 July 2014 early morning.The girder was installed at Pulinchode near Aluva. The ‘U- shaped’ girder was cast at the Metro Casting Yard at Kalamassery. It was transported from the yard around 7 pm on Friday with the help of two huge cranes and special trailers brought from Mumbai.[121]

Viaduct under construction at Kalamassery

The girder reached the site at midnight, and was installed with the help of cranes having capacities of 350 tonne and 400 tonne.

Extension to Tripunithura[edit]

Following a string of protests, KMRL decided to extend the metro's terminal from Pettah to Tripunithura in phase one of the project.[122]

KMRL approved the extension of the metro to Tripunithura on 27 January 2014. Speaking to the media after the meeting, Union Urban Development Secretary and KMRL chairman Sudhir Krishna announced that the 2 km extension would cost an additional INR3.23 billion (US$51 million). The extension will add two more stations, near Alliance Junction and SN Junction, to the line.[123] The extension will be completed after the Aluva-Pettah stretch.[124] The State Cabinet approved the Tripunithura extension on 5 March 2014, based on the preliminary RITES report.[125]

Funding[edit]

The original cost of the Kochi Metro project was INR51.82 billion (US$820 million),[126] but this later increased to INR55373 million (US$880 million).[127][128] Taxes on the project will come to about INR2373 million (US$38 million) which will be borne by the Kerala Government along with any escalations.[129][130] JICA has agreed to offer loan at an interest rate of 1.50%.[131] The total estimated cost of land acquisition is INR11.1 billion (US$180 million), higher than the INR6.72 billion (US$110 million) estimated as per the original plan.[80][81][130] The total external borrowing requirement for the metro rail project is nearly INR21.7 billion (US$340 million).[132]

On 4 November 2013, the KMRL director board approved an offer from Canara Bank to provide it a loan of INR11.7 billion (US$190 million).[133] KMRL signed an agreement with French financial aid agency Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) on 8 February 2014, to provide a INR 15.25 billion ( 180 million) loan for the project. The AFD loan is for a period of 25 years at the rate of 2% interest. The period is composed of a 20-year repayment period and a five-year grace period.[134][135] The Centre and state governments contributed INR7.53 billion (US$120 million) each as equity share for the project.[132] The line is expected to break even in 2023.[136]

KMRL signed a term loan agreement for Rs 1,170 crore with Canara Bank on 20 July 2014.[137] The Metro authority said that Canara Bank has taken this project as a special case with their request of interest reduction and provided relaxations on their conditions. The Canara Bank chairman and managing director R K Dubey assured support to various infrastructure projects undertaken by the state government including “Kannur Airport and other projects being implemented in Thiruvananthapuram and elsewhere in the state”.[138]

Network[edit]

Kochi Metro
Aluva
Pulinchodu
Companypady
Ambattkavu
Muttom
North Kalamassery
CUSAT
Pathadippalam
Edappally Junction
Changampuzha Park
Palarivattom
Nehru Stadium
Kaloor
Lissie
M G Road
Maharajas College
Ernakulam Junction
Kadavanthra
Elamkulam
Vyttila Mobility Hub
Thykoodam
Pettah
Alliance Junction
SN Junction

KMRL has proposed an elevated route spanning 25.253 km (15.691 mi) from Aluva to Petta with 23 stations.[139] All platforms will be 70 metres (230 ft) long.[2] There will be 17 sharp curves along the route; the sharpest curve will have a radius of 120 metres (390 ft).[140]

# Station name[141] Chainage (km) Distance from previous station (km) Platform type Alignment description[142]
English Malayalam
1 Aluva ആലുവ -0.090 0 Side On 1000 metres curve
2 Pulinchodu പുളിഞ്ചോട് 1.814 1.904 Side Curved
3 Companypady കമ്പനിപ്പടി 2.756 0.942 Side Straight
4 Ambattukavu അമ്പാട്ടുകാവ് 3.764 1.008 Side Straight
5 Muttom മുട്ടം 4.723 0.959 Side & Island Straight Curved
6 Kalamassery കളമശ്ശേരി 8.144 Side Straight
7 Cochin University കൊച്ചിൻ യൂണിവേഴ്‌സിറ്റി Unknown Side Straight
8 Pathadipalam പത്തടിപ്പാലം 9.146 Side Straight
9 Edappally ഇടപ്പള്ളി 12.023 Side Straight
10 Changampuzha Park ചങ്ങമ്പുഴപാർക്ക് Unknown Side Straight
11 Palarivatom പാലാരിവട്ടം 13.071 Side Straight
12 JLN Stadium ജെ എൽ എൻ സ്റ്റേഡിയം 14.126 1.055 Side Straight
13 Kaloor കലൂർ 15.221 1.095 Side Straight
14 Lissie ലിസ്സി 15.711 0.490 Side Straight
15 M.G. Road എം ജി റോഡ്‌ Unknown Side Straight
16 Maharaja's College മഹാരാജാസ് കോളേജ് 16.899 Side Straight
17 Ernakulam South എറണാകുളം സൌത്ത് 19.332 1.229 Side Straight
18 Kadavanthra കടവന്ത്ര Unknown Side Straight
19 Elamkulam എളംകുളം 21.341 Side Straight
20 Vyttila വൈറ്റില 22.447 1.106 Side Straight
21 Thaikoodam തൈക്കൂടം 23.703 1.256 Side Straight
22 Petta പേട്ട 24.822 1.119 Side Straight
23 Tripunithura തൃപ്പൂണിത്തുറ Side Straight

Infrastructure[edit]

Rolling stock[edit]

Coaches will be 3.90 metres (12.8 ft) tall, and each train of three coaches will be 65 metres (213 ft) in length.[143] Each coach will have three wide doors, with automatic door closing and opening.[144] The platforms at each station will be 70 metres (230 ft) long,[143] and will have half platform screen doors.[144] A total of 22 trains will be inducted for the first phase of operations of the metro.[145] The axle load is 15 t (15 long tons; 17 short tons) for which the structures are to be designed. The capacity of each train is 975 passengers.[144]

It was initially proposed to use maglev trains from South Korea for Kochi Metro.[146] It was later decided that Kochi Metro will run on standard gauge, with 3 coaches initially in each train, which can be extended to six coaches in future.[147] The width of each coach was fixed at 2.70 metres (8 ft 10 in) in the DMRC's original DPR. However, KMRL wanted the metro to be as a medium metro corridor, as opposed to a light one, and the width was increased to 2.90 metres (9 ft 6 in).[148]

The DMRC floated a global tender in July 2013 for the manufacture and design of the coaches. Hyundai-Rotem/BMEL-India and Band Changchun Railway Vehicle Co Ltd[149] were the only bidders, when the bids were opened in December 2013. The Chinese firm did not qualify, leaving only the Hyundai consortium in contention.[150] The INR 7.50 billion contract was re-tendered on 10 March 2014,[151] and the coach width requirement was changed.[144] The DMRC opposed re-tendering, stating that it might delay the metro's opening, by up to a year or more. It also argued that coaches supplied by Hyundai Rotem were already in use on the Delhi Metro, as well as a few other metros.[152] According to metro officials, "The delay will impact integrated trial of coaches in Aluva-Palarivattom route, initially scheduled from August 2015. With retendering process on, the proposed integration of coaches with tracks, third traction (sourcing power from third rail) and signal systems can be done only by 2015-end or early 2016."[150]

The DMRC held a pre-bid meeting in New Delhi on 2 April 2014 to allow interested firms to seek clarifications regarding technical specifications for the contract for the coaches.[149]

Power[edit]

KMRL will acquire 20MW of electricity annually, to operate the metro. The electricity will by supplied from the Kaloor substation of the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB).[153] The DMRC was in favour of supplying power through 25 KV overhead power lines. This was opposed by the KMRL who preferred to source power from the third rail laid alongside metro track. It was decided to supply power via the 750 V DC third rail.[154]

Parking[edit]

KMRL assigned Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT) to conduct a feasibility study on incorporating parking spaces on the metro rail corridor. The study was focused in understanding the ridership of all 22 stations including two terminal stations and assessing the possible number of two and four wheelers, which would require parking in the Aluva- Pettah Metro Rail corridor. As part of the study the School of Management Studies (SMS) also prepared the layout for parking with traffic circulation plan for each station. The SMS submitted the report on 10 August 2012.[155] preliminary report was submitted in June 2012. CUSAT was given the task, as the report submitted by DMRC did not have specifications regarding the parking facilities.[156] The DMRC's DPR mentioned parking lots only at the 2 terminal stations - Aluva and Pettah.[157] CUSAT's detailed study was submitted on 10 August 2012. The study proposed parking lots adjacent to all stations with some having multi-level parking. In some stations, parking facilities connected to the station via walkways will be located away from the station due to lack of available land.[158] KMRL will consider introducing shuttle services between parking lots and stations if the distance is long. SMS will work out the requirement of land that has to be acquired for this. KMRL says parking facilities will prevent traffic congestion and integrate personal transport system with mass rapid transit systems.[159]

Stations[edit]

Design[edit]

The interiors of the Kochi Metro stations will be decorated with references to local culture. However, the traditional nālukettu architectural style was not structurally feasible.[160] According to a KMRL official, "It [stations] will be designed in such a way that it reflects the Kerala style of architecture with each of the 22 stations reflecting a regional theme. ... the stations will reflect an independent adaptation of the state's culture to give it a distinct look".[161] KMRL officials stated, "Our effort is to highlight the uniqueness of the state, especially to outsiders, but the station buildings won't be an exact replica of the Kerala model of architecture. The station designs are contemporary, but inspired by socio-cultural themes. The kettuvalam or houseboat, for example, widely used in the backwaters of the state, will be the theme of one of the stations, bearing descriptions of how it is made with a model exhibited alongside."[162]

Egis India is responsible for the design of the stations such as floors and doors, and the Indian Institute of Architecture (Kochi Chapter) developed the designs of roof and the interior of the stations.[163] The IIA presented the designs of 14 stations to the KMRL on 14–15 March 2014.[164]

Operations[edit]

Name[edit]

It was initially reported in the Indian media that the Kochi Metro would be officially named Komet (a short form of the name Kochi Metro). The name was reportedly accepted by KMRL's first MD, Tom Jose, and the logo was designed based on that name. However, it was alleged that Jose had made the decision unilaterally without reaching a consensus.[165] On 22 June 2013, The New Indian Express reported that Livespace, a company hired to produce an animated demo video for the metro, had been told by KMRL officials to remove the name Komet that was used in the video and instead use the name Kochi Metro.[166] However, The Hindu reported the next day that a formal decision had not been taken regarding the name.[165]

Boat service[edit]

A boat service from Vyttila to Kakkanad, operated by the Kerala State Water Transport Department (KSWTD) was launched on 19 November 2013.[167] It is integrated with the metro, and was used for diverting traffic during construction of the metro. The boats were manufactured at Steel Industries Kerala Ltd, Kannur (part of Steel Authority of India Ltd). The boats complete the 9 km[168] Vyttila-Kakkanad journey in approximately 25 minutes.[169]

Project updates[edit]

  • September 2014: Civil work on Kochi Metro Progressing Fast.[170]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]