In his two-day visit to Kerala, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of the Kochi Metro Phase 2 project and inaugurate the Petta-SN Junction of Phase 1A on September 1, 2022. The event will be held at the Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL) trade fair and exhibition centre in the presence of Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Governor Arif Muhammed Khan. Mayor M Anilkumar, Member of Parliament Hibi Eden, Transport minister Antony Raju and Kerala Industries minister P Rajeev will also be a part of the event.
The Kochi Metro Phase 2 corridor will connect Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to Infopark at Kakkanad. It will cover a distance of 11.2 kilometres. There will be 11 metro stations, including Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Palarivattom Junction, Palarivattom Bypass, Chembumukku, Vazhakkala, Padamughal, Kakkanad Junction, Cochin SEZ, Chittethukara, KINFRA and InfoPark.
The phase 1 extension is the first stretch of the Kochi Metro project directly taken up by the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL). The 1.78-km Phase 1A section of the metro network will link Petta to SN Junction. With this, phase 1 will cover about 27 kilometres of distance, comprising 24 stations.
The revenue operations at both the metro stations will begin around 7 pm, after PM Modi dedicates the project to the Kochi residents. The Metro Rail Safety Commissioner had given approval for the revenue operations of the Petta-SN junction stretch after the inspections. The works at Vadakkekotta, SN Junction metro stations and Panamkutty bridge began on October 16, 2019, and continued even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. With the inauguration of SN junction and Vadakkekotta metro stations for revenue operations, KMRL is likely to reach an average of one lakh commuters daily.
Vadakkekotta station is the biggest among the Kochi metro stations covering an area of 4.3 lakh square feet. Unlike other stations, it has large commercial spaces inside and outside the new facilities. Vadakkekotta station design theme depicts Kerala’s role in the freedom struggle, while the SN Junction station has a theme featuring Ayurveda and its modern approaches.
KMRL developed the two-lane Panamkutty Bridge with a footpath as part of its preparatory works for Phase I Extension, transforming the stretch into a four-lane corridor. It was opened to the public on February 15, 2021, in a record 15 months’ time and about six months ahead of schedule.
Once completed, Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Kochi metro network will reinforce the concept of first/ last mile connectivity and multi-modal integration by connecting major residential and commercial hubs of Kochi with major transit hubs such as railway stations and bus stands.