Prime Minister Narendra Modi Inaugurates Kerala’s first metro in Kochi


Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the first phase of Kochi Metro today at Kaloor International Stadium. While delivering the inaugural address, Prime Minister pointed out that his government had prioritised three key sectors Urban infrastructure, Railways and Power in the Make in India programme.

PM Modi inaugurated the first phase of the Kochi metro, which covers 13.2 km of the total, planned 25 Kilometres and took a ride on the Kochi Metro. Before boarding the train, Modi cut the ribbon at Palarivattom station.

He was joined by other dignitaries including Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu as well as E Sreedharan, popularly known as India’s ‘Metro Man’. Yogesh Saini and Sumit Kumar operated the train for PM’s journey.

Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gouba, Kerala Chief Secretary Nalini Netto and KMRL MD Elias George also travelled with Prime Minister during his maiden journey in Kochi Metro from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam.

After winning a national record of being the longest metro corridor being completed within a span of four years, Kochi Metro is the ‘first government-owned company in India to formally appoint transgender people’, according to the metro agency’s managing director, Elias George.

PM Narendra Modi said the Kochi Metro app is a good example of e-governance digital platform and also mentioned that the Union Government has so far released over Rs 2000 crore for the project.

“Kochi, the queen of Arabian Sea was once an important spice trading centre. Today it is known as the commercial capital of Kerala,” says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Kochi, the queen of Arabian Sea was once an important spice trading centre
Image Courtesy: Railway Technology

“This is one of Kerala’s proudest moments. To have completed a historic mission like this within record time is a matter of pride. Typically government launch initiatives and we can never be sure when it comes to a completion. It is Dr. E. Sreedharan’s hard work and commitment that we are now witnessing,” said actor turned MLA Mukesh.

Elattuvalapil Sreedharan is a retired Indian Engineering Service (IES) officer popularly known as the “Metro Man”. He is credited for changing the face of public transport in India by his leadership for building the Konkan Railway and the Delhi Metro when he served as the managing director of Delhi Metro between 1995 and 2012.

He was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2001, the Padma Vibhushan in 2008, ‘the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur’ in 2005 and was named one of Asia’s Heroes by TIME magazine in 2003.

Recently he has been appointed to serve the United Nations’ High Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (HLAG-ST). He was invited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to serve on his HLAG-ST for a period of three years.

E Sreedharan was born on 12 June 1932 in Karukaputhur in the Palakkad district of Kerala. His family hails from Karukaputhur, near Koottanad, part of Thrithala legislative assembly, Palakkad district, Kerala.

His primary education was from Government Lower Primary School Chathannur near Pattambi in Palakkad district. He completed his education at the Basel Evangelical Mission Higher Secondary School and then went to the Victoria college in Palghat. He later on completed his Civil Engineering from the Government Engineering College, Kakinada, and Andhra Pradesh, presently known as JNTUK.

The backend operation of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is being handled by 452 employees whose average age is just 32. “We have recruited youngsters from all over the country. I deliberately wanted it to be a non-Mallu organization, and instill a plural culture,” Elias George managing director of KMRL.

Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has achieved many firsts in its five years of existence, right from using the labour of thousands of ground to feet migrant workers while ensuring employment for the local workforce too Kudumbashree workers and transgender persons, the latter a first of its kind globally.

It also began eco-friendly initiatives like developing cycling tracks and walkways at various points of the city. But Elias says the biggest game changer would be the upcoming Water Metro project. “These inclusive growth initiatives have created tremendous amount of goodwill internationally and lifted the KMRL brand, especially with our European investors,” Elias George says.

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