The Union Cabinet of India has given the go-ahead for the Rs51.81bn ($941m) Kochi Metro Rail Project in Kerala.
The elevated Kochi Metro Rail link will cover a total length of 25.6km from Alwaye to Petta on standard gauge line and also include 23 stations.
In the total project cost, the Union Government's share will be Rs10.02bn ($182m) and the Kerala state will contribute Rs17.72bn ($321.9m). The cost of the project was revised from Rs22.39bn ($406.8m) to Rs51.81bn ($941m) in 2005.
External debt of Rs21.70bn ($394m) will be provided by the Japanese Government agency JICA and the remaining Rs2.37bn ($43m) will be supplied by the state.
The metro project will be executed by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), which is the special purpose vehicle (SPV) formed by the state cabinet in 2011 to coordinate with central and state agencies.
The first phase of the Kochi metro is expected to be completed in four years from implementation of the work.
The state government will have to undertake land acquisition of 31 hectares to build the coach-maintenance depot at Muttom near Aluva.
Initially, each train will be fitted with three coaches, capable of carrying 200 people and later they will be increased to six.
The trains will travel in each direction every eight to ten minutes, which will be reduced to a train every three minutes based on the demand from passengers.
They are expected to travel at an average speed of 40kmph as they have to stop at stations located within a kilometre of each other.
Kerala government had taken an initiative in December 2004 to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for Kochi Metro Rail Project and assigned Delhi Metro Rail (DMRC) to prepare it.
DMRC is planning to float tenders within a month for constructing viaducts in the Aluva-Kaloor link.