This article has been modified. Please read the clarification at the end.
Kochi Metro rail will be extended up to Thripunithura, the capital city of erstwhile Kochi kingdom, in the first phase itself. A director board meeting of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) decided this today.
The extension will be of 2 km with two stations in between - Alliance Junction and SN Junction -- for an additional cost of Rs 323 crore.
Earlier, the terminal station of the metro network on the South was Petta, near Thripunithura. This drew a lot of criticism as people residing on the southern side of the city felt they would not be able to enjoy the benefits of metro.
The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by 2016. It now covers a distance of 28 km, from Aluva on the northern side and Thripunithura on the southern side.
The Thripunithura terminal station is proposed to be constructed on nine acres of unused land owned by Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL), near SN Junction.
Meanwhile, the board meeting also given its final approval to the loan from the French financial agency, Agence Francaise de Development (AFD). A formal agreement for the loan will be signed on February 7. Under the agreement, KMRL will get Rs 1,500 crore (180 million Euro) from the AFD.
Canara Bank had extended a loan of Rs 1,170 crore while the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) too is interested in extending a loan of Rs 1,000 crore. The AFD loan is for a period of 25 years at the rate of 2 per cent interest.
Deutsche Bahn International GmbH, Germany has bagged the contract for safety and quality audit for a remuneration of Rs 36.7 crore. DB International GmbH is a consortium between DB International GmbH, Leap Infraasys Pvt Ltd and SMEC India Pvt Ltd.
The board also approved the annual budget for the project for the next financial year. The proposed budget estimate for 2014-15 is Rs 2,398.48 crore. For the current year, the revised estimate is Rs 1,000.97 crore.
Rail India Technical and Economic Services (RITES), which did the feasibility study for the extension of the metro, recommended the extension in the first phase itself. The report had identified the route to Thripunithura through SN junction from Petta along the Kochi- Dhanushkodi national highway.
The expansion projects in the second and subsequent phases are proposed up to Angamaly, through the Cochin International Airport, on the north and from Jawaharlal Nehru International stadium at Kaloor to Kakkanad, the IT hub of the city, as well as to West Kochi. Extension subsequently from SN junction to other parts of Thripunithura could also come under the second phase.
This article had said that Deutsche Bank had bagged the contract for safety and quality audit which is incorrect. The contract went to Deutsche Bahn International. We regret the error.