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People queue up from early morning for maiden Kochi Metro ride

KOCHI

People queued up from early morning to take their first ride on the Kochi Metro that began its commercial operations here on Monday.

The maximum rush was witnessed at the two starting points – one at Aluva and the other at Palarivattom metro stations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had dedicated this dream project to the nation on Saturday.

“We were the first to get the ticket and the first to enter the metro train. We reached here at 4.45 am and took the ride on the first train that departed to Aluva at 6 am. This was a great experience,” a middle-aged lady told the media.

The metro train will run between Aluva and Palarivattom stations – a distance of 13 km at an interval of 10 minutes from 6 am to 10 pm everyday.

The time taken to cover the distance between the two points is 20 minutes and the ticket cost ranges from Rs10 to a maximum of Rs40.

Kochi Metro Rail Limited Managing Director Elias George said: “There were some initial problems at the time of issuing tickets but within a few minutes everything was resolved and things are going as per the schedule.”

Meanwhile, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who did not attend Saturday’s Kochi Metro inauguration after being kept out of the main list of invitees, will take his first ride on the Metro along with all UDF legislators on Tuesday.

Chandy’s being kept out of the main list of special invitees alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi raised eyebrows, as it was during his tenure 2011-2016 that practically every aspect of the metro, including the inking of the agreement, commencement of the work and the trial run was completed.

Chandy, however, kept mum about his exclusion from the main list of special invitees. Though he was given an invite to be seated among the audience, he did not attend the event.

The Congress is planning to make the Kochi metro ride a major event.

Work on Kochi Metro began in 2012 after the Oommen Chandy government entrusted the project to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, with its principal adviser Sreedharan overseeing it.

Indo-Asian News Service