The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has entered the last stages of construction of the Kochi Metro project. The metro authority is hopeful about completing the works and opening the stretch between Thykoodam and Petta by March 31. With this, DMRC, which has been actively involved with the Kochi Metro works since 2011, plans to formally bid adieu to the city.
DMRC spokesperson said about 90% civil works along the Thykoodam-Petta stretch has been completed. “The viaduct is ready. Works associated with track-laying and traction are in the finishing stage. Signalling and communication works are progressing. Now, we have to install lifts and escalators at the station. In a couple of days, the Pettah station will be ready to be taken over for remaining works,” he said.
The metro authority said once the Thykoodam-Petta stretch is over, it will wind up its entire operations in Kochi. “However, a skeleton staff will remain here to complete some pending works, including property development at Ernakulam South Metro station and a civil construction at Muttom yard,” said the spokesperson.
DMRC had undertaken construction work of Kochi Metro along the 25km stretch from Aluva to Petta. There are 24 stations along the stretch. The Metro authority began its involvement with Kochi Metro project with the reconstruction of the north railway over bridge (ROB), which it took up in November 2011.
“This is in fact the first work we undertook in the city. It’s been nine years and we are happy that Kochi Metro has become a reality,” he added. The foundation stone for the project was laid on 13 September 2012 and construction work on the Metro project began on June 7, 2013. As per the initial plan the 13km stretch between Aluva-Palarivattom stretch was expected to be completed by December 2015, and the remaining 12km Palarivattom-Pettah stretch, by March 2016.
Issues related to land acquisition, fund crunch and bad weather plagued the project and delayed its execution. One of the most noted aspect of the project implementation was that though labour issues cropped up occasionally, the successive governments were quick in addressing it. Politicians, trade unions and officials worked together to avoid such disputes. Despite the hurdles, DMRC could complete the works and hand over the 13.4km stretch between Aluva and Palarivattom to Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) and it was opened for traffic on June 17, 2017. On October 3, 2017 the second stretch between Palarivattom and Maharaja’s College was commissioned for operations. The 5.65 km stretch between Maharaja’s College and Thykoodam was inaugurated on September 3, 2019.