The second phase of the Kochi metro rail project will be completed by November 2026, Parliament was informed on Thursday.
Replying to a question raised by Ernakulam MP Hidi Eden, Union minister of state for urban development, Kaushal Kishore, told the Lok Sabha that the scheduled completion date of Kochi Metro Phase II is 21 November 2026.
The second phase of the metro consists of a 11.2-km elevated line from from Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium to Infopark at Kakkanad.
A Union Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister, on 7 September 2022 had approved Kakkanad (Infopark) extension — christened Pink Line — at a cost of Rs 1,957.05 crore. The foundation stone for the second phase pf Kochi metro was laid on 1 September 2022.
While the Union government's share comes to Rs 339 crore, Kerala governments would provide Rs 556 crore, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will extend a loan of Rs 1,016 crore at an interest rate of around 3 per cent.
In September, the Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), which is executing the project, had floated the design-and-build contract tender to construct the viaduct and 10 stations en route. Kochi Metro Rail Limited will open tenders for the viaduct construction on 12 December, it is learnt.
Phase-two work has been delayed, initially due to a prolonged wait for approval from the Central government, followed by delay on the part of the State government in handing over funds to acquire land for road widening and station construction works.
It was only last week, that Kerala Finance Minister K N Balagopal approved a funding of Rs 378.57 crore for the Kakkanad extension of Kochi metro. However, the KMRL is yet to receive the approval of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) for the project.
Once commissioned, the extension is anticipated to significantly enhance ridership within the mass rapid transport system, particularly benefiting the Aluva-Thripunithura phase-one Blue Line.
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