Kozhikode Light Metro is a proposed mass rapid transport system (MRTS) for the city of Kozhikode (Calicut), in India. In 2010, the State government explored the possibility of implementing a metro rail project for Kozhikode city and its suburbs. The proposal was to have a corridor connecting the Karipur Airport to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital through the heart of the city. An inception report was submitted by a Bangalore-based consultant, Wilber Smith, on the detailed feasibility study on the prospect of implementing the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRTS) and Light Rail Transit System (LRTS) in the city. However, the project has been scrapped to be replaced by Kozhikode Monorail project. The State Cabinet then decided to form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to implement monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram, and administrative sanction was given in October 2012. The state government issued orders entrusting the Thiruvananthapuram Monorail project to the KMCL on 26 November 2012. The government had handed over the Kozhikode Monorail project to the KMCL prior to that. On 12 June 2013, the State Cabinet gave clearance for an agreement to be signed between KMCL and DMRC, that would make the latter the general consultant for the monorail projects in Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram. The DMRC will receive a consultancy fee of 3.25% of the 55.81 billion ( 35.90 billion for Thiruvananthapuram and 19.91 billion for Kozhikode). The agreement was signed on 19 June 2013. However due to cost overrun and the cold response from the bidders the project was put on hold. Bombardier Transportation was the only bidder for the project. The project was later scraped and Light metro was proposed.
The Union Urban Development Ministry decided to consider the proposal for a Metro in Kozhikode after the success of the Delhi Metro and signed up for drawing the detailed project report (DPR) of the Rs.27.71 billion Kozhikode metro transport project with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation as a feasibility study for the introduction of suburban services in Kozhikode city. The Ministry decided to bear 50% of the cost of the preparation of the DPR for the city that comes under the population cut-off bracket. The preliminary feasibility study had been carried out by the National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) in association with the Kerala Road Fund Board in December 2008. Based on this feasibility report, the Board entrusted Wilber Smith to conduct the study in June 2009. Already, the NATPAC has submitted a metro rail project covering a total distance of 32.6 km from Karipur to the Calicut Medical College. The cost of the project was estimated at Rs. 27.71 billion and was expected be completed within five years. The monorail project which replaced the metro rail project was estimated to cost Rs 1,991 crore has received a bid from the lone bidder Bombardier consortium, and was almost double of the estimate. The project was scrapped and the Light Metro was proposed and is waiting for cabinet nod.
As per the proposal for Metro, it would start from Karipur Airport, touching Ramanattukara, Meenchanda, Mini- Bypass, Arayadathupalam and culminate at the Medical College. The metro rail project will benefit, apart from the residents of the city, the neighbouring grama panchayats of Malappuram district and Kozhikode district. An estimated 2083,000 people would get the benefits of the new transportation system by 2031. The project, which can be partly finished within three years, will be economically and technically feasible. However the detailed project report prepared by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, the alignment for Kozhikode Monorail is retained for the Light metro poject.
The Union government was in favour of implementing the project with private participation, ruling out its own financial involvement. The Ministry of Urban Development and the Planning Commission were also against government investment in the project, and refused to accept it as a project in line with the Delhi Metro and Chennai Metro. The political rivalry between the earlier Left Front government in Kerala and the UPA government at the Centre was a major reason for such developments and the slow down in the project. The change in government in Kerala changed that scenario, making the Kozhikode Metro one of the top priorities of the UDF government. But later, not to affect the Kochi Metro project The Kerala cabinet under the Chief Ministership of Oommen Chandy decided to give clearance only for the Kozhikode Monorail project, replacing the Metro rail project.
The newly proposed Light Metro is proposed to be implemented as government initiative expecting a viability gap funding from the central and state government. Remaining fund is expected to be sourced internally and externally form competent agencies.