Kochi Metro

Kochi Metro is a proposed rapid transit system for the city of Kochi in Kerala, India. The 25.65km metro line will run from Aluva to Petta and will include 22 stations. The Kochi Metro Rail Project is also known as Komet or K-3C.

The $950m project will be operated by Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL), a joint venture between the Central and State governments of India.

"The project will be operated under a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis over a 30-year concession period."

Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) and KMRL signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in New Delhi for executing the first phase of the project from Aluva to Pettah in May 2013. According to the agreement, DMRC will manage the technical aspects, contract orders, supervision at the project site, procurement and construction on behalf of KMRL.

The Kochi Metro will be completed in phases. The first phase of construction began in June 2013 and will be completed by 2016. The project will be operated under a build, operate and transfer (BOT) basis for a 30-year concession period.

Alstom was awarded a €85m ($107m) contract to supply 25 Metropolis train sets for the Kochi Metro.

Kochi Metro purpose and benefits

Heavy traffic congestion has necessitated the development of a metro rail system in Kochi. Buses are currently the major public transportation system in Kochi.

The new metro system will reduce traffic congestion, while providing safe and rapid transportation to commuters. It will also reduce pollution and noise levels, as well as congestion on city roads. The project will create employment opportunities for the local people.

Kochi Metrorail project details

The government of Kerala selected DMRC to prepare the detailed project report (DPR) for the project in December 2004. The project was initially expected to start by 2006 but was delayed due to poor economic conditions.

The Kerala government requested DMRC to extend the metro route to Nedumbaserry International Airport in February 2008. The proposal was approved in April 2008.

The project received public investment board (PIB) clearance in March 2012 and union government clearance in July 2012.

DMRC began preliminary works for the project following the clearance. Preliminary work included the widening of three arterial roads, Banerjee Road, MG Road and South Railway Station Road, as well as the construction of a new rail over-bridge (RoB) near KSRTC station and a foot over-bridge.

Related project

Vallarpadam Railway Link, India

The Vallarpadam railway link in Kochi, Kerala, is the longest rail bridge in India. The 4.62km rail bridge is part of an 8.86km rail corridor connecting the International Container Transshipment Terminal (ICTT) on Vallarpadam Island with Edappally, a suburb in Kochi city.

The Vyttila-Petta route was widened by 26m to facilitate the construction of the metro rail. KMRL resurfaced 21 roads in Kochi to reduce traffic congestion during the metro rail construction.

Construction of Kochi Metro

The foundation work for the much-delayed project started in September 2012. Construction work for the phase I began in June 2013. The Phase I includes construction of a 25.65km-long elevated route from Aluva to Petta. The route will include 22 stations.

Phase II received approval from KMRL in September 2012. It will include an extension from Aluva to Angamaly via Cochin International Airport, an extension from Petta to Tripunithura, and a branch line from Palarivattom to Infopark via Kakkanad.

Kochi Metro route

The Kochi metro will feature a single line route. It will start from Aluva and pass through stations such as Kalamassery, Cochin University of Science and Technology (CUSAT), Pathadippalam, Edappally Junction, Changampuzha Park, Palarivattom, Nehru Stadium, Kaloor, Town Hall, Madhava Pharmacy, Maharajas College and Ernakulam Junction.

The Metro line will be linked to Cochin International Airport via Aluva and Tripunithura via Pettah in the future.

Facilities at Kochi Metro stations

The metro stations will be installed with uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system, and a manned ticket office machine for providing paper tickets and smart cards to passengers.

Each station will also feature special facilities for the disabled, such as engraved paths and tactile tiles for visually challenged people, toilets with wheelchair access, and Braille and auditory signals in elevators.

Kochi Metro signalling and communication

Computer Based Interlocking (CBI) system will be used on the Kochi Metro for better signalling and communication. The automatic signalling will be provided with protection and warning system.

The telecommunication systems will be integrated with fibre-optic cables, SCADA, train radio and public address (PA) systems.

Rolling stock for Kochi Metro

Kochi Metro will use Alstom’s Metropolis trains having three coaches a train. Each train will be 65m long and will have the capacity to accommodate up to 975 passengers.

The metro trains will run at a top operational speed of 80km/h.

Contractors involved with Kochi Metro project

DMRC issued a tender for the KC-3 project in January 2013. The tender included the construction of the elevated viaduct, six elevated stations at CUSAT, Pathadipalam, Edapally Junction, Changampuzha Park, Palarivatom and JL Nehru stadium.

DMRC also issued four tenders collectively worth $62.98m for the construction of the metro rail in April 2013. The contract includes construction of the elevated viaduct and six elevated stations at Aluva, Pulinchodu, Companypady, Ambattukavu, Muttom and Kalamassery.

"The $950m project will be operated by Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. (KMRL)."

DMRC appointed Larsen and Toubro (L&T) for the construction of the viaduct on the Kalamassery-Kaloor stadium stretch, in April 2013. The contract will also include construction of metro stations on the stretch.

L&T construction unit Heavy Civil Infrastructure Business received a $155.85m contract for the project in May 2013. The contract includes construction of elevated viaduct and elevated stations on Aluva-Petta line.

L&T is responsible for a total of 12 station buildings, including six each from Aluva to Kalamassery and Kalamassery to JLN Stadium, and an elevated viaduct in each of the two segments.

Soma Enterprises is responsible to build a viaduct and five station buildings from JLN Stadium to Ernakulam Junction Station, while Era & Ranken (JV) will build viaduct and five station buildings from Ernakulam Junction to Petta.

Spanish company Ardanuy Ingenieria was awarded the power supply and traction contract while DB International was appointed as the quality and safety monitoring consultant for the project.

Alstom will supply, install and commission 25 trains for the metro. The contract also includes option to supply an additional 25 train sets. The first set of trains are expected to be delivered in early 2016.

Financing of the Kochi Metro project

The Komet project will be jointly financed by the Indian Government (64.14%) and the government of Kerala (35.86%). In 2012, he project received $180m and $320m from the central and state governments respectively.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) provided a $400m loan for the project. AFD agreed to provide a 25-year (including a five-year grace period) loan of $180m for the project in February 2014.

The project is expected to raise $43m from the taxes, which will be managed by the state government with escalations.