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.
“The city’s population has been rising steadily, and is expected to reach 23 lakhs by 2021. Therefore, a mass rapid transport system is essential to address the increasing pressure on urban infrastructure. This will also contribute to Kochi’s economic growth,” PM said while stressing on the need for MRTS for urban development.
Prime Minister began his speech in Malayalam and expressed his joy in joining the glorious moments of Kochi for completing the project in record time. PM stated that Kochi Metro would be viewed as a model project in urban public transport system with zero carbon emission level.
“In PRAGATI meetings, I have personally reviewed nearly 175 projects worth more than Rs eight lakh crore. We have resolved bottlenecks and significantly improved the average rate of implementation in these sectors. Now, we are also focusing on next generation infrastructure, which includes logistics, digital and gas. Foreign investment has been invited in this sector. Fifty cities in India are ready to implement metro rail projects,” Prime Minister explained how the Make India campaign is transforming Indian cities.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who presided metro rail opening ceremony thanked Prime Minister Modi for visiting the state for the inauguration and the support given for the Kochi metro. Pinarayi made it clear that his government would work in tandem with union government ensuring speedy completion of developmental project.
Chief Minister took a dig at people who crafted controversies stating that Kerala wanted to avoid PM’s presence in Metro Rail Inauguration.
“Now, some people may be very unhappy as the Prime Minister has come for the inauguration,” Pinarayi said.
Union Urban Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu too congratulated Kochi Metro Rail Ltd for ensuring best facilities and quality standards. “With metro, Kochi is going to be the smartest City in the country,” Minister said.
Before leaving Kochi Prime Minister met Pinarayi Vijayan and cabinet colleagues at naval base and discussed various developmental demands of the state.
Prime Minister who arrived at Southern Naval Command airbase with union Minister for Urban Development Venkaiah Naidu , was welcomed by Governor P. Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, BJP President Kummanam Rajasekharan and Chief Secretary Nalini Netto.
Prime Minister proceeded to Kaloor by road and enjoyed Kochi metro ride from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam and back to Palarivattom along with Chief Minister, Governor and other dignitaries. Metro Man E. Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Managing Director Elaias George also accompanied Modi and other dignitaries during the ride.
Modi emerged as a star and impressed the people of Kerala when he came wearing a light blue kurta to match the official colour of Kochi Metro Rail.
13.4 km long Kochi Metro is the fastest metro project in the Country which was completed within four years and ten days. Kochi Metro Phase I, with a project cost of Rs 51.81 billion, is expected to give a facelift to Kochi, business hub of Kerala.