The Foundation-stone of
Kochi Metro was laid by the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh
at Kochi, Kerala today. While speaking on the occasion Union Urban
Development Minister, Shri Kamal Nath said that the Government of India
has decided to support Metro Rails for all the cities of the country
having a population of more than 2 Million. He said that efficient and
reliable urban transport systems are crucial for India to sustain a high
growth rate and alleviate poverty. To improve the current urban
transport situation the Government is giving much attention to Metro
projects. Metro projects are already under implementation across the
country - Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and
Following is the text of the speech of Shri Kamal Nath at the
Foundation-stone laying ceremony of Kochi Metro:
“It is a pleasure to be in the city of Kochi today for the laying of the
foundation stone of the Kochi Metro Rail Project. This is a fitting
tribute to the ongoing “Emerging Kerala” programme taking place in
Kochi. With this, Kochi will join the select list of cities where Metro
projects are under implementation. For this, I would like to thank the
Hon’ble Prime Minister who has been a great champion of the Kochi Metro
Rail project, the Chief Minister of Kerala, the Ministers from Kerala in
the Govt. of India, who relentlessly pushed for this and Mr. A. K.
Antony, the Hon’ble Defence Minister, who conceived and envisioned this
The Kochi Metro Rail Project from Alwaye to Petta (Tripunithura) of 25.3
km will be fully elevated and has a total completion cost of Rs. 5,181
crore. The project will be implemented through joint ownership SPV of
Govt of India and Govt of Kerala and is scheduled to be completed in 4
yrs. This will have the most modern fourth generation technology, after
the experience gained from Metro Projects in Delhi and Chennai. The
implementation mode will be decided by the Center and State Government
in a transparent manner. Kochi Metro is unique as it provides
multi-modal integration with roads and water ways.
India is urbanising rapidly. India’s urban population has increased from
285 million in 2001 to 400 million in 2011 and by 2030 is likely to
reach over 600 million. The number of towns has increased from 5161 in
2001 to 7935 in 2011. Even at this relatively low level of urbanization
(31%), India has the second largest urban population in the world.
The urban centres have emerged as engines of economic activity. The
urban sector contributes around 60% of GDP which is likely to further
increase to over 70% in the next decade. Over 70% of the new jobs are
expected to be created in the cities.
Efficient and reliable urban transport systems are crucial for India to
sustain a high growth rate and alleviate poverty. To improve the current
urban transport situation the Government of India is giving much
attention to Metro projects. Metro projects are already under
implementation across the country - Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore,
Chennai, Hyderabad and Jaipur. The Government of India has decided to
support DPR preparation for Metro Rails for all cities having a
population of more than 2 Million.
Another mode of Mass Transport System that needs to be explored is
Mono-rails. I am informed that Mono rails is ideal as a feeder system to
larger metro networks as well as for stand-alone shorter networks in the
densely populated pockets of cities. One Mono-rail corridor has already
been identified in Delhi and work has been entrusted to DMRC.
The cities of Calicut and Thiruvananthapuram are also keen on setting up
Mono rails. Calicut proposes a Mono rail of 14 Km length at a cost of
Rs.1600 crore and Thiruvananthapuram proposes to have a Mono rail of 24
Km at a cost of Rs. 2500 crore. In principal approval has already been
accorded to Calicut Mono rail and I would urge the Chief Minister to
take-up this Mono rail project on priority and entrust its
implementation to Kochi Metro.
In order to make urban travel a more pleasant experience, Government of
India sanctioned buses with superior specifications to cities. Kerala
has been sanctioned 350 buses (200 for Kochi and 150 for
Thiruvananthapuram) with a total project cost of Rs.124 crore. The
Additional Central Assistance i.e. Govt. of India share is Rs.78.22
A major step taken to address the Urban Infrastructure deficit in the
country was the launch of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal
Mission (JNNURM) by the Government of India in the year 2005. This was a
reforms linked central assistance for development of urban
infrastructure. In the first phase of JnNURM, 36 projects have been
sanctioned for Kerala at an approved cost of Rs 1425 crore, with Central
Assistance of Rs 997 crore.
In Kochi, a total of six projects at a total cost of Rs. 509 crore have
been sanctioned. Four projects have been sanctioned in basic sectors,
one each in water supply, drainage, sewerage and solid waste management.
One project each has been sanctioned in road & transport sector and
We are now in the process of finalising the next phase of the Urban
Renewal mission. We are keen to explore innovative means to raise
resources such as monetization of land and would like to encourage
Public Private Partnership and Viability Gap Funding.
A major reform that the State governments need to carry out is in the
area of capacity building. We would like each State to create a
Municipal Cadre so that our efforts at Urban infrastructure development
are more effective and sustainable.
Before I conclude I would like to once again congratulate the people of
Kochi and Kerala on this momentous day”.