South Indian state of Kerala joins the global map of cities with metro network. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan goes for a ride at Kochi Metro ride before its official inauguration….reports Asian Lite News
Ahead of the formal inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 17, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday took a 13 km ride on the Kochi Metro from Palarivattom to Aluva.
Vijayan was given a ticket as he arrived at the Palarivattom station. He took a walk through the station complex before boarding the train to Aluva.
However, there were protest by local Congress workers saying their representatives had not been invited for the metro run.
Though the Rs 5,180 crore project will run 25 km from Aluva to Petta, the opening phase would see the train operating only 13 km, as work in the remaining section is nearing completion.
There are 11 stations in this stretch that is being pressed into service.
The Kochi Metro had run into a controversy when Vijayan had announced the inauguration on May 30, as part of the celebration of his government’s completion of one year in office.
Later, however, it was changed back to June 17.
On Saturday, there were some protests, as local Congress legislator Anwar Sadath raised objections to Vijayan’s day out at the metro.
Sadath said that it was only in today’s (Saturday) newspaper that he came to know that Vijayan would inaugurate a solar power plant at the Aluva Metro station, which was never the norm during the previous Congress tenure.
“None of the people’s representatives have been invited for it and this is gross violation of the rules. The previous Chief Minister (Oommen Chandy) whenever he came to inspect the work in progress here always saw to it that he invited all the people’s representatives,” Sadath told the media.
Ernakulam district CPI-M Secretary P. Rajeev was present with Vijayan during the ride.
Following the protest, however, the Kochi Metro officials called off the solar power plant inauguration pointing that arrangements were incomplete.
The local Congress workers who were sloganeering at the Aluva Metro station were arrested by the police.
The Chandy government had in 2005 first mooted the project. The V.S. Achuthanandan government had then put it in a limbo between 2006-2011.
It was again in 2011, that Chandy revived the project and work began in 2012. He entrusted the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s principal advisor E. Sreedharan with overseeing the project.