Kochi: When Kochi Metro starts its dream run in the first reach from Aluva to Palarivattom, aspirations run high.
Kochi Metro had its detractors, including the merchants who had to part with their establishments to make way for the mega project. Will the Metro pay them back by unclogging the roads and bringing in more shoppers?
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Not all merchants are convinced. The Kochi Metro Rail Limited had to face stiff opposition from the business community when it mooted a plan to create a walkway along the arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road, leaving only half the road to motorists.
However, the consensus seems to be in favor of the Metro. The novel mode of transport will change the cityscape forever. It will be the city’s engine of growth.
The Metro itself has an impressive business plan. The Kochi Metro Rail Limited has earned Rs 15.5 crore already by co-branding five of the 16 stations. The company offers private companies a chance to add their names to the stations.
Another Rs 5.27 crore came from selling the ad space on half of the 700 pillars of the Metro.
The company also plans to raise money by letting out trains and stations for movie shooting. The rent for the train is fixed at Rs 3 lakh per hour and for the station at Rs 2 lakh per hour. The crew would be asked to pay a security deposit of Rs 6 lakh for the train and Rs 4 lakh for the station.
Crores of rupees is expected in revenue from ads placed inside and outside the trains and stations.
The stations, including the six-floor station near the Maharaja’s College, would yield handsomely by letting out space to shops and establishments.
Still the Metro would take years to break even.