The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) authorities have yet to declare the date of commissioning of the 1.8 km extension on the new Petta-SN Junction route even one month after receiving final approval from the commissioner of railway safety, the Times of India has reported.
The KMRL officials had previously stated that service on the newly extended line would begin within days of approval. In April, a report in The Hindu said the new stretch would be commissioned in June.
On June 9 and 10, a team led by railway safety commissioner Abhai Kumar Rai conducted a safety inspection on the track, which was built as part of Kochi Metro's Phase 1-A extension. The safety approval for the line was granted on 18 June.
The trial run on this track was completed in February 2022. Viaduct works, including tracks, traction, and signaling, have been completed before the trail run. The service trial was also completed in July.
According to KMRL Managing Director Loknath Behera, the organisation will decide on the commissioning soon.
There will be a single stop at Vadakkekkotta between the Petta and SN Junction stations, reports say.
Following the commissioning of the new line, Vadakkekotta station will be the largest among Kochi's 25 metro stations, with an area of 4.3 lakh square feet. The station will have commercial space for hypermarkets, coaching centers, coffee shops, and an automobile exhibition space.
The 1.8-km extension also included the construction of a bridge near Pettah and the widening of the road beneath the metro viaduct, de congesting the entire corridor.
The construction of a 1.8 km-long extension commenced on April 21, 2020, at the cost of Rs 453 crore. The acquisition of land for the two stations cost Rs 99 crore.
With the commissioning of the new line, metro authorities have stated that they anticipate an increase in daily foot traffic of about 35,000. They also reported that the delay in launching the service results in lost revenue for KMRL, which is already losing money.
Currently, 65,000 people travel to Kochi Metro daily on average. KMRL expects that after service begins at Petta-SN Junction, the number will surpass one lakh, reports Times of India.
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