Rapid urbanisation making metros more relevant

Kochi metro’s 5.6-km Thykoodam extension launched; travel time in Aluva-Thykoodam corridor 44 minutes

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Rapid mass transport like metro and light metro are inevitable since the number of Indians living in urban areas will increase to over 60 crore by 2030, Minister of State for Housing and Urban Development Hardeep Singh Puri has said.

The 873 km of metro rail systems under construction in 27 Indian cities will not be sufficient for this. The government must prepare for ecologically sustainable and cost-effective light metro systems of global standards since capital investment for metro rail is very high. Along with affordable and high-quality public transport systems, urban dwellers will need affordable and eco-friendly housing was told by Hardeep Singh Puri in his presidential address at the inauguration of Kochi metro’s 5.6-km-long Maharaja’s College-Thykoodam extension on Tuesday.

Altogether, 25 metro trains have arrived to operate in the 23.5-km-long Aluva-Thykoodam corridor.

The travel time in the corridor is 44 minutes and trains will operate every seven minutes. As in the pre-existing route, trains will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Referring to light metro projects, Mr. Puri said the Metro Rail Policy of 2017 has been supplemented by one of light-metro-rail systems. To realise this, the Centre issued specifications for light metros in July for tier 2 and 3 cities. The aim was to provide faster and comfortable modes of commuting, he added.

He added that airports in Kerala would have 39 new domestic flight services soon.

In his inaugural address, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said efforts were under way to rebuild Kerala in such a way that buildings and other structures could withstand natural disasters like the floods of August 2018 and 2019. Referring to the arrest of former PWD Secretary T.O. Sooraj and three others in connection with the Palarivattom flyover fiasco, he said compromise on quality of infrastructure projects won’t be tolerated.

He said that the government will fix individual responsibility and take legal action. Public money must not end up in the hands of unscrupulous people. The vigilance machinery has been stepped up to prevent the repeat of such incidents.

On the Rs 740 crores Water Metro project in the district, Mr. Vijayan said the first batch of modern ferries for the project would be launched in March 2020. CNG-run buses would operate in feeder routes on the islands that will be linked by Water Metro ferries, he added.

Similarly, the National Waterway between Bakel and Kovalam would be commissioned in 2020. Steps were also being taken to integrate different modes of public transport, he added.

Metro trains will operate in the extended corridor from Wednesday.

The function also saw the inauguration of metro’s extension works on the 1.50-km-long Pettah-S.N. Junction stretch and beginning of piling for the first Water Metro terminal at Vyttila.

In his address, E. Sreedharan, Principal Advisor of DMRC which was tasked with executing the 25-km-long Aluva-Pettah metro corridor, expressed contentment at the metro agency being able to execute the project as per deadline and within the sanctioned cost. The DMRC also built overbridges and flyovers in Kochi at approximately 25% less cost than the estimate.

He said that the Thykoodam extension had got three signature structures – a 90-metre balanced cantilever curved viaduct over tracks at Ernakulam Junction railway station, lengthy steel girders on either side and box girders at Elamkulam, which are the first such structures in South India.

Source: The Hindu

Image Source: The News Minute