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PM Modi to inaugurate India's first water metro in Kochi on Tuesday

He will also flag off Kerala's first Vande Bharat Express and inaugurate other projects worth more than Rs 3,200 cr

Narendra Modi

Narendra Modi

Shine Jacob Chennai
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will flag off on Tuesday India’s first water metro that will connect 10 small islands around Kochi with boats running on hybrid power.

The Rs 1,137 crore project, funded by German funding agency KFW and the Kerala government, will provide a cheap mode of transport for commuters and tourists. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said the water metro proves that urban transport can be environment friendly. Tickets will cost between Rs 20 and Rs 40 and can be booked digitally through Kochi One App.

Running on a hybrid fuel mode of Titanite Spinel batteries and diesel, boats of the Kochi Water Metro (KWM) will cover 38 terminals in its initial stage. KWM service will initially run between the High Court-Vypin terminals and Vyttila-Kakkanad terminals. Vijayan has said commuters will be able to reach Vypin Terminal from High Court Terminal in less than 20 minutes. Kakkanad can be reached within 25 minutes from Vyttila via Water Metro.

KWM will be one of the first integrated transport systems in the country, connecting rail, road and water. Using the Kochi One Card, a person can travel on both Kochi Metro Rail and Kochi Water Metro. There will be special passes of Rs 180 that can cover 12 trips, monthly passes of 50 trips for Rs 600 and quarterly passes of 150 trips for Rs 1,500.

Each boat has 50 seats and it can carry 100 passengers. A boat will have 21 security cameras and 110 lifejackets. The air-conditioned boats, modelled in the shape of Metro trains, are manufactured at Cochin Shipyard.

Modi, as part of his two-day visit to the state, will flag off on Tuesday Kerala’s first Vande Bharat Express between Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargod and inaugurate multiple projects worth more than Rs 3,200 crore.

The Kerala Vande Bharat train will cover 11 districts, including Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam, Thrissur, Palakkad, Pathanamthitta, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasargod. The fare for the 586-km train is between Rs 435 to Rs 1,590 for chair car and Rs 820 to Rs 2,880 for executive chair car classes. Vande Bharat will complete the journey from Trivandrum Central to Kasaragod in 8.05 hours while Rajdhani takes around 8 hours and 59 minutes to cover the same distance.

The other projects that Modi will lay foundation stone for include the redevelopment of Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, and Varkala Sivagiri railway stations; the renaming and development of Nemon and Kochuveli stations and increasing of sectional speed of Thiruvananthapuram-Shoranur section. He will lay the foundation stone for a Digital Science Park in Thiruvananthapuram.

What is a water metro?

Inland water transport is Kerala’ primary mean to transport freight and passengers. The Kochi water metro is an extension of that, using ferry boats on various routes to connect the 10 islands of Kochi. The water metro envisages developing 15 identified routes, connecting 10 islands along a network of routes that span 78 km with a fleet of 78 electrically-propelled hybrid ferries plying to 38 jetties. More than 100,000 islanders are expected to benefit from the water metro.

Rs 1,137 cr: Size of the water metro project

38: Number of terminals at 10 islands

Rs 20-40: Minimum and maximum fare for travelling on water metro

10408.9 tonnes: Expected reduction in emission of pollutants by 2025 due to water metro

Project intends to use the inland waterways in and around Kochi. Major share of the waterways are:-National Waterways (40 per cent), Cochin Port Trust Waters (33 per cent), existing routes under irrigation (20 per cent), other inland waters (7 per cent).

Kerala’s first Vande Bharat train

Connecting Thiruvananthapuram and Kasargod, the train Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inaugurating on Tuesday will be India’s 16th Vande Bharat Express.

The train will cover 11 districts and will stop at Kollam, Kottayam, Ernakulam Town, Thrissur, Shoranur, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod. The trains will operate on the route from April 26. At each station, the train will stop for around 2 minutes. At Ernakulam, it will stop for 3 minutes.

The tickets for the executive chair car are fully booked till May 2, while chair car tickets are booked till April 30. The number of seats in the chair car is 914 and in the executive chair car is 86. The minimum fare (from Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam) is Rs 435 for chair car and Rs 820 for executive chair car. On the other hand, the maximum fare for covering 586 km from Thiruvananthapuram to Kasaragod is Rs 1,590 and Rs 2,880 respectively, for each of these classes.

The fares include catering charges. For the minimum journey food worth around Rs 65 will be served. For the entire route, it will be up to Rs 350 in both classes.

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First Published: Apr 24 2023 | 2:44 PM IST

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