The services of Kochi metro, which was stopped in April following the second Covid wave, are likely to resume next week. Though the government is yet to issue an official circular in this regard, a source said the chief minister has held talks with officers concerned and the service may resume as early as on Monday, 28th June 2021.
“The officers want to resume the metro services once the TPR falls below 10%. Guidelines are expected in the next couple of days. The services may be relaunched by June 28,” said the source.
However, a Kochi Metro Rail (KMRL) official said they were yet to receive any official communication from the government. “KMRL is ready to launch the services the very next day, if the government were to give us the green light. The services will be operated in strict compliance with Covid protocol. Rescheduling of train timings and frequency of services will be finalised as per the guidelines issued by the government,” said the officer.
With the easing of lockdown curbs, regular metro passengers are keenly awaiting the resumption of services. “Metro is safe and the KMRL usually adheres to Covid protocol. That gives us a feeling of extra security compared to any other mode of public transport,” said Rajeena P T of Aluva, who works at an establishment on MG Road.
Meanwhile, Tony Mathew, an IT professional, said that if the metro services were to be relaunched, it will help ease the traffic congestion on city roads. “After the unlocking began last week, most of the people going to the city are using their private vehicles. This has suddenly increased the traffic on city roads during the peak hours. Hope the metro services will be resumed soon,” he said.
KOCHI 1 CARD VALIDITY
The holders of the Kochi 1 Card, which is used for ticketless travel on the metro, said they hope the KMRL will extend the validity period of the cards. “We were not able to use the card for travel during the lockdown. Last year, KMRL extended the validity period for cardholders. Hope the agency will do the same this year as well,” said Tony Mathew, an IT professional.