July 30, 2019
Kochi: Adding another feather to its cap, Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) is getting ready to extend its operations further up to Thykoodam.
Presently the metro runs between Aluva and Maharaja’s College covering about 19 km. The experts are carrying out inspection of the cantilever bridge built over the railway lines in Ernakulam Junction.
This is the most difficult and crucial section in the new reach where construction of the bridge took about three years at a cost of Rs 58 crore.
During the trial run, the train moved at a speed of 5 km per hour. Two trains carrying sand-filled bags were stationed midway on the cantilever bridge as part of testing its load bearing capacity.
Though Metros in other cities have balanced cantilever bridges, they are straight whereas the one in Kochi is curvy.
The trial run would continue too and fro from Maharaja’s College to Thykoodam in the coming days.
The next crucial section is inspection at the Vytilla road overbridge were the girders are built at a very high level.
The inspection is being conducted by officials of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
Construction of 25.6 km metro work from Aluva to Pettah began in 2013. The first reach of 13.4 km up to Palarivattom was completed in 2017 and second of 5 km up to Maharaja’s College later in the same year. Work on Thykoodam to Pettah is under progress and might take a few months to complete.
There are 22 stations proposed between Aluva and Pettah.
The metro has many special features like its management is completely handled by women. Transgenders and women’s self help groups are involved in its operations. It uses solar power to a great extent to become first in the world to do so.
It has the facility to operate without a driver.
A senior official of DMRC told The Covai Post that the actual plan was to begin service in the Maharaja’s College – Thykoodam section before Onam in August.
The Thykoodam-Pettah reach would be commissioned by December. The State Government has granted sanction for starting work from Pettah to Sree Narayana Junction in suburban Tripunithura and would take some time, he added.