July 8, 2017
The recently launched Kochi Metro is the most modern system in the country with many unique features. But that does not seem to be true when it comes to issuing of tickets. Contrary to its claim of using state-of-the-art technology, the ticketing system introduced by the authorities of the Kochi Metro Ltd (KMRL) is primitive, polluting and uneconomic. While most of the metros in the country use reusable tickets, shockingly KMRL relies on one-time use paper tickets.
At a time when the Central Government talks at length about going digital in all fields, it remains a mystery why KMRL has been left out of its ambit.
This has added to the pollution in the city which is reeling under serious waste management crisis. The passengers have no idea what they have to do with the tickets once they come out of the station after the journey. Since there are no trash bins seen in the area they throw it outside the stations. This has polluted the premises of metro stations starting from Aluva to Palarivattom which is the first phase of the project. There are 11 stations in the section. One can see tickets lying strewn outside the stations.
The worst scene is outside the Asia’s largest Lulu International Mall. Even the authorities are not showing any importance to clear the waste tickets thrown outside the stations. A large workforce is employed to man the metro. They have practically nothing much to do but issue tickets, screening luggage and check tickets. These employees do not take the pain to discourage the passengers from throwing the tickets on the premises.
What remains unanswered is why the metro authorities went in for paper tickets. The reason seems very simple. The special paper for the ticket is provided by private agencies. Use of paper tickets will only help the agent to get steady income from KMRL.
Anything started in Kerala is not free from such controversies. From the ground breaking function till the launch of the project, the metro has been in the thick of bickerings and wranglings. There was a big opposition by political parties during the previous Congress-led rule in Kerala against giving the project to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation headed by E Sreedharan.
All through the construction, there have been several issues that irritated Sreedharan, finally making him air his displeasure in public.
What could be more insulting was not inviting him to the launch of project by the Prime Minister.
It was for this reason that he has bid goodbye to the remaining phases of the project from Palarivatom to Petta and to the IT area of Kakkanad.
It is a project owned by the centre and the state and implemented by DMRC.