Kochi: Kochi Metro Rail works are progressing as per schedule and the first phase from Aluva to Palarivattom can be commissioned by April next year, Union minister for urban development, M. Venkaiah Naidu said. He was addressing the media after attending a review meeting of Centrally funded projects in Kochi on Tuesday. The minister was apprised about the current status of works including civil works and trial run of coaches and plans for the next phases. Rajiv Gauba, secretary Urban Development and chairman of Kochi Metro Rail Limited and top officials of KMRL and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation attended the meeting.
As the city lags behind in implementation of the Rs 1,000 crore Smart City programme, the minister directed to speed up selection of Project Management Consultant and consultancies. The minister also asked to explore possibilities for public-private participation in Smart City and AMRUT schemes. “Kerala has vast natural resources which should be utilised effectively. Rainwater harvesting has to be made mandatory for every household. All urban local bodies should think of augmenting revenue sources,” he said.
The state failed to comply with the time schedule of the projects due to Assembly polls. However, the minister hoped that the state would be able to effectively cope with the time delay. “The Centre is satisfied with the progress of various projects being undertaken,” he added. The minister handed over Swachhta certificate to Kattappana municipal chairman Johny Kulampilly for attaining the open defecation free status. Dr K. Vasuki, State Suchitwa Mission executive director received Rs 10 crore from the minister for Swachh Bharat Mission project. KMRL managing director and Cochin Smart Mission Limited CEO Elias George and other officials also attended.