KOCHI: The launch of the commercial operations of Kochi Metro Rail between Aluva and Palarivattam by April is likely to be delayed further with the Metro agency yet to acquire land for the construction of a parking lot at Palarivattam. Also the government wants the commercial operations to extend at least till Maharajah’s College ground in the launching phase.
Earlier, the Metro Rail authorities had approached KSEB to lease their land at Palarivattom to set up the parking lot. However, KSEB turned down the request. KSEB officials said they are planning to construct a ‘Vydhuti bhavan’ on the land.
In order to begin operations in April, the Metro Rail needs to address the parking issue at Palarivattom. Traffic congestion will spike at this busy junction if parking space is not identified.
Sources at Metro Rail said, a final decision regarding the launch of commercial operations will be taken at a review meeting which will be held in Thiruvananthapuram on March 13. The meeting, which has been convened by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, will be attended by the principal adviser to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) E Sreedharan and officials of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL).
DMRC officials have already informed the respective authorities that the civil works up to Palarivattam will be completed by the end of March. But, the Chief Minister, while pointing out the problems that will crop up while ending the services at Palarivattam, had asked the KMRL officials to extend the operations till Maharaja’s College ground. The 13 km stretch upto Palarivattam from Aluva will cover Pulinchodu, Companypady, Ambattukavu, Muttom, Kalamassery, Cusat, Pathadippalam, Edappally and Changampuzha Park. But parking facilities would be necessary to end service at Palarivattam, which will act as a temporary terminal station.
“Now, it is the state government which will take a final call on whether to launch the commercial operations by April or not. We will get a more clear picture by March 13,” added the sources.