Kochi, Jan 23 (IANS) The first test run of Rs.5,180 crore Kochi Metro rail project was flagged off on Saturday by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy in the presence of ‘Metro Man’ E. Sreedharan at the Muttom railway yard here.
Chandy said the project could enter record books by becoming the fastest completed Metro rail project.
“On this occasion I announce that on November 1st, 2016, the Kerala formation day, this project will be dedicated to the people of Kerala,” the chief minister said.
He said the project had become a reality because of all round cooperation from each and everyone.
“There will be special rewards for all those who made this happen both at the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and the Kochi Metro Rail Corporation,” said Chandy.
Sreedharan said, everything went as per the plan and it happened because of the complete support of the Oommen Chandy government.
“This has happened in this short a time and it is certainly a commendable achievement,” said Sreedharan.
Chandy and the guests went inside the three coaches of the train and had a close look at the facilities. They came out and waved the green flag. And the train chugged along on its first journey.
Once ready, Kochi Metro will run 25 km from Alwaye to Petta.
Chandy had mooted the project in 2005. When the V.S. Achuthanandan government took over in 2006, the project went into a limbo.
Reviving it in 2011, Chandy entrusted the project to DMRC whose former chairman became its principal advisor.
Chandy hopes to capitalise on the progress of the project in the forthcoming assembly elections.
Last year, he saw to it that work began at the Vizhinjam Port, which had remained at the drawing board stage for the last 25 years.
Now, Chandy has two more mega projects, with the trial flight at the Kannur international airport scheduled in the coming weeks and also the opening of the Kochi Smart City that has been fixed for February 20th.