Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday inaugurated the Kochi Metro at Palarivattom in Kerala, marking the launch of the first such service in tier-II city.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu and E Sreedharan were present at the event.
‘Metro man’ E Sreedharan, Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gouba, Kerala Chief Secretary Nalini Netto and and KMRL MD Elias George travelled with the Prime Minister during his maiden journey in Kochi Metro from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam.
Shreedharan’s name was earlier conspicuously absent in the list of dignitaries to accompany Modi. The state government was forced to write to the PMO after a huge public uproar, following which his name was added in the list.
Yogesh Saini and Sumit Kumar will be the Train Operators for Modi’s journey, a KMRL spokesperson said. After the train ride, the dignitaries will come to JLN Stadium, Kaloor, where a public event has been scheduled.
However, Kochi Metro will start the Revenue operations on June 19, Monday from 6am onwards, the spokesperson said.
The trains will start from Aluva and Palarivattom at 6 am simultaneously and finish the day’s ride at 10 pm at Aluva.
The headway will be 8:20 minutes and there will be 219 trips between 6 am and 10 pm from Monday, she added.
The minimum fare to ride in the Kochi Metro is capped at Rs 10, while an end-to-end ride from Aluva and Palarivattom or vice-versa costs Rs 40.
A unique aspect of metro stations will be the deployment of members of Kudumbasree – the women empowerment-oriented, community-based, poverty reduction self-help group project of the Kerala government- for managing the station operations.
Kudumbasree will provide a vast array of services from customer relations, crowd management, housekeeping and catering services, which once operational, will be the largest crew of women to be employed by any metro.
Besides, every metro station has been designed on a specific theme around Kerala culture and geography.
KMRL has also included the LGBT community in its operations along with Kudumbashree, thus becoming the first organization to appoint transgenders as per the state government’s transgender policy.