Prime Minister Narendra on Saturday said the Kochi Metro coaches reflected the 'Make in India vision', which have been built by French multinational company Alstom and have 70 percent Indian component.
The prime minister, who began his speech in Malayalam, said he was happy to be part of the inauguration of the Kochi Metro. "I congratulate the people of Kochi on the proud moment," he said. He stressed the need to bring about a paradigm shift in urban planning by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land use and transport.
The Union government has so far released over Rs 2,000 crore for the Metro project, said PM Modi, which is a 50-50 joint venture of the Central and Kerala governments.
While addressing a gathering at the inauguration ceremony, Modi said, 'Kochi was selected as a Smart City in Round 1 of the challenge in January 2016. I hope it will do even better in the days to come.'
"Over the last three years, my government has placed special focus on overall infrastructural development of the nation," Modi said.
After the speech, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan presented a hand carved wooden model of Kochi Metro car to PM Modi.
"In Pragati meetings, I have personally reviewed nearly 175 projects worth more than Rs 8 lakh crore and resolved bottlenecks," he said, referring to his ambitious multi- purpose and multi-modal platform PRAGATI (Pro-Active Governance And Timely Implementation), he added.
Earlier, PM Modi inaugurated Kochi Metro at Palarivattom station and took a ride on Metro along with Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
'Metro man' E Sreedharan, Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gouba, Kerala Chief Secretary Nalini Netto and KMRL MD Elias George also travelled with Prime Minister during his maiden journey in Kochi Metro from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam.
Kochi Metro will start the Revenue operations on June 19, Monday from 6 am onwards, the metro spokesperson said. The trains will start from Aluva and Palarivattom from 6 AM simultaneously and finish the day's ride at 10 PM at Aluva. The headway will be 8.20 minutes and there will be 219 trips between 6 AM and 10 PM from Monday.
According to reports, the Metro has employed 23 transgenders in various departments based on their qualifications. More workers from the community will be inducted after gauging their success, says Kerala Metro Rail Limited managing director Elias George.
(With agency inputs)