Vastavam web: Narendra Modi today dedicated the first phase of Kochi Metro to the nation.Addressing the gathering after dedicating the project, 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.He described as “noteworthy” the selection of nearly 1,000 women and 23 transgenders to work in the Kochi Metro Rail System.Union Urban Development Secretary Rajiv Gouba, Kerala Chief Secretary Nalini Netto and BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan also travelled with the prime minister.
Modi, in his address said his government has placed special focus on overall infrastructural development of the nation.Modi said his government was also focussing on “next generation infrastructure which includes logistics, digital and gas.” The prime minister, who began his speech in Malayalam, said he was happy to be part of the inauguration of the project.Kochi, the queen of the Arabian Sea, was once an important spice trading centre. Today it is known as the commercial capital of Kerala, the prime minister said.Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) is a 50-50 joint venture of the Centre and the state government.The Centre has so far released over Rs 2,000 crore for the project. The coaches reflected ‘Make in India’ vision.
During the journey, Modi waved at the crowd as Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd Managing Director Elias George interacted with him.Considered as the fastest completed metro project in the country, Kochi Metro, the flagship transportation infrastructure project of Kerala, will start its regular operations from June 19.Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation of the project on September 13, 2012 and the construction began in June, 2013 during the tenure of the previous Congress-led UDF government headed by Oommen Chandy, who was conspicuous by his absence today.