Kochi: The Union Budget has attempted a major thrust on infrastructure and healthcare. To bolster urban transport facilities, the central government aims to expand metro rail projects across the country. The Budget has set aside Rs 1957.05 crore for the second phase of Kochi Metro which is now running on a 25km stretch from Aluva to Thripunithura.
The construction of an 11.2km line extending upto Kakkanad is envisaged in the second phase. The project had received the approval of Public Investment Board about nine months ago.
The project is expected to be completed within four years.
Of the first phase between Aluva and Tripunithura railway station, only the work on a three km stretch is yet to be completed.
No delay likely
The new metro line which will come up in the second phase begins from Kaloor International Stadium and goes via Palarivattom- Kakkanad Road, Seaport-Airport Road till Info Park. The total distance would be 11.2 km.
In all, 11 stations are set to come up along the new line. They are: Palarivattom Junction, Palarivattom Highway Junction, Chembumukku, Vazhakala, Padamugal, Kakkanad, Kochi CESS, Chittethukara, Kinfra, Infopark-1 and Infopark-2.
The construction activities for the second phase are likely to be inaugurated before the announcement of the schedule for the Kerala Assembly Election.
The second phase of the metro will also be linked with the proposed Thiruvananthapuram–Kasaragod Semi High-Speed Rail (Silver Line).
Central share Rs 338.57 crore
When the metro extension project was revised in 2018 the total cost was pegged at Rs 2,557 core which has now been slashed to Rs 1,957 crore.
The central and state government share including tax exemption comes to Rs 338.75 crore. This is 20 per cent each of the total cost of the project.
Sixty percent of the amount (Rs 1016.24 crore) will be raised by way of loans. The French Development Agency or Agence Française de Développement (AFD) has assured to grant loan for the second phase of the Kochi Metro.
The first phase was also implemented with the loan granted by the French Development Agency.