Kochi: As Metro gives a facelift to Kochi, people from all walks of life are waiting for a better tomorrow.
M A Yousuf Ali
I am proud as an expatriate when Kochi becomes a ‘Metro’ city. Have no doubt. Metro will be a landmark in Kochi’s development. This project will help Kochi escape the traffic blocks. The DMRC and KMRL authorities deserve a round of applause for making the project a reality without much delay. Kochi Metro proves that a determined administrative leadership can bring about any developmental activity.
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Kochi has created several models including an airport with public-private partnership. Though we had successfully completed many projects, the infrastructure development was always lacking. Metro’s arrival has changed things. Metro’s associated areas have great business potential. More people will be employed. We shatter many prejudices when we complete a project within deadline. Let us expand this work culture to other areas as well. It will be a great leap.
P R Sreejesh
Personally, these are happy times for me. My son was born two days ago. I was just thinking about the Kochi my son and daughter are going to inherit. After the water transport of the past and the crowded traffic of the present, they will have a future with Metro. Metro is a gift for tomorrow’s Kochi. The next generation will be proud of this.
Read More: Riding the Kochi Metro
I had travelled on Metros in different parts of the world. A Metro ride is always different. Kochi Metro will also be curious. The ride on the elevated path will be a new experience for us. That will be a far cry from a drive on the rubbish-strewn roads.
N S Madhavan
Kochi became Kochi because of one thing - transport. The genesis of the city’s growth was a railway line from Shornur to Ernakulam started in 1902. The state of Kochi had borne all expense for the line. The Kochi port followed in 1928. The Nedumbassery airport was opened in 1999. Kochi Metro is the latest milestone in the history of incredible changes in the city’s transport sector.
Ernakulam was not even a city when Kerala was formed. Only Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode and Alappuzha had populations of more than 1 lakh, according to the census of 1951. Now, Kochi is expected to be among 404 cities which will produce half of the global GDP in 2025 (according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute). Metro will help the city fulfill the prediction.
Metro is supposed to serve the internal transport of a city. Daily commuters such as workers and students rely on Metro more than shoppers and leisure seekers. They should be drawn to Metro with reasonable ticket rates. As per the current rate for a single ticket, a person has to spend Rs 50 to go from Tripunithura to Kalamassery. (the rate for a similar distance is only Rs 30 in Delhi). This translates to Rs 2,500 per month. This may not be very helpful in prompting people out of their cars.
The weekly and monthly passes have to be cheaper. Metro’s success depends on the length of the line. Metro as currently envisaged serves only the people from the north (Aluva) and east (Tripunithura, Kakkanad) of the city. A large population resides in the east (Edakochi, Aroor) and the west (Mattancherry, Fort Kochi, Vypeen). As the network gets bigger, more passengers will rely on Metro. The Delhi Metro was started on 8 kilometers. Now it covers a network of 216 kilometers, carrying 30 lakh people a day. So the Metro has to be expanded to make it meaningful.
Some people must be waiting to scribble across Metro coaches as they do in trains and buses. As far as I know, they will be taken for a ride. If you take your dirty habits to Metro, you would be fined and even jailed. The surveillance system in the stations and coaches are that efficient. My appeal to such people: “Please leave Metro alone. It is not a place for you.”
Kochi Metro will be a lesson for us. We will foster good habits including hygiene if the law and its enforcement is stern. The only pillars in Kerala not defaced by billboards and posters belong to Metro.
Even the people outside Kochi, including me, wait for Metro because of the novelty. Metro is going to be a tourist attraction for Kochi. Its most attractive element is punctuality. A big salute to the Metro team which realized such a big project without much delay.
Whenever I travel on Metro, I remember Mahabali. I had searched for the king when I traveled on the underground New York subway. I had hoped him to appear before me for a moment at least.
I have never traveled on an Indian Metro so far though I had traveled on Metros in New York, London and Paris. In Bengaluru, the Metro station is very far from my house. I can’t even drive to the Metro station, park my car there and ride the Metro. I can’t drive! As a writer, I have been inspired by moments in Metro. I have written stories and poems based on Metro rides in New York. I will be there to ride the Metro in Kochi in one of the stations.
Metro has brought magic to Kochi. I had feared that the big pillars will crowd the already congested roads. But the roads have actually become wider after the Metro work was finished. The overhead Metro has even helped the roads of Kochi.
Metro will bring about many changes like this. Like everyone in Kochi, I am waiting for those changes. Metro rail will become Kochi’s nerve center. We have a responsibility to keep Metro clean like we do with our own house. I have traveled on many Metros but can’t wait to ride my own Metro. Metro will surely be a shooting location for Malayalam cinema. I am waiting for that.