Moneycontrol | Kochi Metro's new stretch inaugurated

Sep 03,2019

Kochi Metro's new stretch from Maharaja's College junction to Thykoodam was inaugurated on September 3.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the service at a function presided over by Minister of State for Housing and Union Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

Other dignitaries included Metro man E Sreedharan, Ernakulam MP Hibi Eden, Kochi Mayor Soumini Jain, MLAs M Swaraj and P T Thomas. They all travelled on the first Metro train from Maharaja's College junction to reach Kadavanthra station to attend the inaugural function at the Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium.

Earlier, the Commissioner of Metro Rail Safety had granted sanction for the new stretch which has a total of five stations - Ernakulam South, Kadavanthra, Elamkulam, Vyttila and Thykoodam. Foundation stones for constructing the Petta-SN Junction Section of Kochi Metro and for Kochi Water Metro Project to provide intermodal connectivity between jetties, bus terminals and metro rail were also laid on the occasion.

Puri said the government has arranged a sovereign loan from KfW of Germany as external funding for this project.

He said developing the urban transport was crucial since 600 million people would be living in urban areas by 2030.

"I have absolutely no doubt, the work which we have done in the area of urban transport, in the area of Metro rail is providing a solid basis for those objectives.

We currently have about 657 km of metro lines which are operational in 18 cities.

"Another 873 km of metro lines, including 82 km of Delhi-Meerut Regional Rapid Rail Transit System, is under construction. With the commissioning of the 5.65-km section from Maharajas College to Thykkoodam, a total of 663 km of Metro rail lines will become operational," he said.

The Minister recalled his visit to Kochi for the inauguration of 2nd Phase of the Metro project in October 2017, just a month after becoming a minister in the Narendra Modi government.

The first phase was inaugurated by Modi in June 2017.

Pinarayi Vijayan said the Kochi Water Metro - first urban transport system in the country - would be commissioned in March 2020.

Land acquisition for the Rs 743-crore water metro project is being done at a fast pace, he said.

Gujaratis will make AAP pay price in polls for 'abusing' PM Modi's mother: BJP
An old video of Italia emerged on Thursday in which he is purportedly heard mocking Modi's 100-year-old mother Hiraba. Italia is also heard purportedly using a derogatory word for Modi, drawing strong condemnations from BJP leaders.

The BJP on Friday sharpened its attack on the Aam Aadmi Party after its Gujarat chief Gopal Italia was heard purportedly mocking the prime minister's mother in a video, and said people of the state will make it pay for "abusing" her.

An old video of Italia emerged on Thursday in which he is purportedly heard mocking Modi's 100-year-old mother Hiraba. Italia is also heard purportedly using a derogatory word for Modi, drawing strong condemnations from BJP leaders.

"If you think abusing the prime minister's mother will help you gain political popularity in Gujarat, you are mistaken. And for that mistake, Gujarat and Gujaratis will make you pay the political price in the forthcoming elections," Union minister Smriti Irani told reporters on Friday, attacking AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

She claimed Italia's comments were made on Kejriwal's instructions, saying the Gujarat AAP leader has made a number of comments which have also "insulted" the Hindu society and temple-going women.

Irani said it is "absolutely unforgivable" if AAP leaders seek to abuse an 100-year-old woman who has nothing to do with politics. "Her only crime is not that she is in politics but she gave birth to Narendra Modi who is thwarting your (Kejriwal's) political designs," the BJP leader said.

With Italia claiming that the BJP is targeting him as he is from the Patidar community, Irani said he was hiding behind new excuses and this showed that the AAP would play community and gender cards for its political ends.

"That Arvind Kejriwal can fall to new lows is not surprising. What they don't realise is the esteem with which Gujarat and Gujratis hold women especially mothers in our society," she said, claiming that the regional party will suffer political decimation in the upcoming state assembly polls there.

The AAP leadership in the state has been making all sorts of statements, including "slurring Hindu women and religious institutions", to draw political attentions, Irani alleged. In another video, Italia was purportedly heard urging women not to go to temples, alleging that religious places were dens of exploitation of women.

With the "blessings" of Kejriwal, he "maliciously and in abusive form" attacks Modi's mother, Irani said. Italia was on Thursday detained here for more than 2.5 hours by the Delhi Police after he appeared before the National Commission for Women (NCW) in connection with his alleged comments against Modi amid protests by AAP members outside the women panel's office.

Italia claimed that he was "threatened and treated indecently" by NCW chairperson Rekha Sharma after he appeared before her "as he is a Patidar and his community members have come out in support of the Kejriwal-led party" ahead of the elections. Kejriwal said his detention had triggered massive anger in the Patel community across Gujarat.

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