Kochi: Amid a demand for a cut in fares, the Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) Managing Director Elias George made it clear on Wednesday that the fare policy would be reviewed only after the commencement of metro commercial operations till Maharajas.
“The correct pattern of regular metro users can be arrived at only when the Metro reaches Maharajas College. We will analyse the situation then and accordingly effect certain changes in the fare structure,” the official said while visiting the Changambuzha Metro station where the mural art work decorations were completed.
After the initial rush, thanks to joyriders, the metro trains operating in the Aluva-Palarivattom section is witnessing less commuter patronage during the weekdays though the situation is much better on holidays and weekends.
According to the official, the authorities aim to start the metro operation in the 18 km Aluva-Maharajas stretch by the first week of October, before the Under-17 Football World Cup gets underway.
“The Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety has agreed to conduct the mandatory inspection in the five km-Palarivattom-Maharajas section during the third week of September. The various stages of the trial run are currently in progress,” he said.
George said the new Metro Rail Policy which opens a window for private investments, has several factors in line with the Kochi Metro model. “Next week, a meeting is scheduled when the second phase to Kakkanad will be taken up for approval. We expect only minor changes in the draft plan and alignment while getting approval from the central government,” the official said.
Stations to don poetry, quotes
Besides the myriad theme-based art works, the metro stations in the Aluva-Palarivattom stretch would boast of poetry and literary quotes from Malayalam, Indian and world literature.
“The metro stations will be made culturally rich in two months. We will have literary and inspiration quotes displayed in stations and trains similar to the London Underground. This way we hope to attract tourists to experience the Kochi Metro. The city is witness to four lakh tourist arrivals a month and we hope to have a share of it,” said Elias George, Managing Director, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd.
The mural art works reflecting the state’s traditional culture were completed at the Changambuzha Park station on Wednesday. Both entry and exit sides of the station are adorned with the murals.
Selected stations in the second and third reach will also feature the beautification works. Construction works, including of station buildings, have begun in the third reach from Maharajas College to Pettah. “A meeting was held with the city police commissioner on Wednesday evening on how to effect traffic restrictions so as to facilitate the works,” a senior official said.
Meanwhile, the construction of the Metro Rail Police station building at CUSAT is complete. “We’re waiting for the Chief Minister to give us a suitable date to launch the station,” the official said.