Friday, November 02, 2012

Kochi Metro - From a Kochite's View..

Thanks to Rajeev P (Hon'able Rajya Sabha MP from EKM] and Hibi Eden [Hon'able MLA from EKM] for rekindling my interest in this cliched topic - Kochi Metro. 
Kochi Metro is a classic example of how governments across all parties find an orgasm kind of delight in fooling people with "Development Dreams". If you walk around Kochi, you will find at least 100 flex boards still praising leaders who "Realized Kochi Metro" and Govt. even issued first day travel tickets to selected aristocratic residents in the city. 

In reality, how far are we from Kochi Metro? The same distance between an early morning feel good dream and the day you wake up to.

why do we need the Kochi Metro?? All of us have our own answers. all of them are right. but some of them may not be rationale. that's the only difference.
Here is my take on why we need Kochi Metro?? Rather than scripting an essay, let me break it to few points.

  • Why 
    • Lot of people need to travel to Kochi every day since we have high court, kochin shipyard, kochin port, vallarpadam port, LNG Terminal, Kochin refinery, proposed petro chemical complex, some units of FACT, some units of BPCL and IOC, collectorate, Info park, proposed Info cities at kakkanad, kalamassery, proposed hardware park at amballur, transit via kochi for various tourist destinations, colleges and schools, local tourism including veegaland, and people who will come here in future for future projects. 

  • Need 
    • People should be able to commute into and out of kochi smooth without getting delayed due to traffic congestion. 
    • People should be able to live at affordable places away from kochi (as much as they can) and still commute to work every day with around 1 hour travel (each direction). Today, I live in Kochi and takes around 45-50 minutes to commute 16 km to work in a car. 

  • Cost  
    • Should be affordable to people to justify the purpose. 

  • what is an ideal scenario 
    • Consider an 80 km (50 mile) radius around Kochi. This covers
      • Beyond Thrissur to North
      • Beyond Aalapuzha to south
      • Beyond Kottayam to south east
      • Beyond thodupuzha to east
if you consider the population of these 5 districts (Ernakulam, Thrissur, Alapuzha, kottayam and idukki), its around 12 million people. if you consider, half of it coming under the metro coverage, it's around 6 million people. Now that is a sizable population. 

we need a Kochi Metro that spans an 80 km radius with well articulated rail network.the trains should run at 100 kmph average speed which is easily possible today. with that, a person can travel to Kochi from any of the farthest station in less than 1 hour. the stations should be placed such a way that it covers city suburbs than cities themselves. this will help people to stay places which are far more economical than towns still work in kochi. Consider a person who can stay in irinjalakuda or ambalapuzha or thodupuzha or kottayam suburb kind of place and working at kochi. 

Looking and thinking into future, if we Wi-Fi enable and sound proof the Metro Cars, Lot of people can start their work even when they are on commute.  

That's the power of Metro and that's the development. That will enable growth in those places as well. schools, retail shops, entertainment places etc will come up in those tier 4-5 kind of cities. That's true economic prosperity in those towns. 

we should look for such a system and not for petty political gains around the fatherhood of half baked, not useful projects. it's time we move on from this show off, communal divide oriented politics and start looking at our nation's stability and prosperity. Political Parties have almost forgotten that aspect and is just too busy filling their own pockets and to keep people divided, effectively uses the communal divide weapon at us. 

Awake, Arise and Stop not until the goal is reached!!!! -- why not we all wake up folks?? Please elect people who can really change our lives not just people from own community or so.