Kochi: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan took a ride on Kochi Metro on Saturday. The CM is reached Palarivattom metro station at around 11 am and traveled towards Aluva.

Pinarayi also inaugurated the solar power facilities in the metro stations. The CM’s visit comes ahead of the Kochi Metro inauguration by prime minister Narendra Modi on June 17.

The first service trials of the Kochi Metro were conducted on May 10 paving the way for commercial operations.

Even though the Rs 5,180 crore project would run 25 km from Aluva to Petta, the opening in June would see the train service operating at a distance of 13 km from Aluva to Palarivattom.

CM Pinarayi interacted with KMRL officials who boarded the train along with him. Contrary to the expectations that Vijayan get down at Muttom station and visit the yard, the train went straight to Aluva without stopping anywhere. It reached the destination at 11.35am. After getting down from the coach, he went to the train controller’s cabin. He interacted with loco pilot Anju Ashokan.

Though the chief minister was expected to inaugurate the Metro’s solar project at Aluva station, the event was cancelled. However, KMRL said that the process of generating power from the panels placed at 11 stations and Muttom depot began on Saturday.

“The solar energy will be used to meet power requirements of the station. We will depend on the grid for the additional power supply. From the stations and Muttom depot, we will be able to get 2.15 MW of power,” said a KMRL general manager.
According to KMRL, they require 20 million units of power per year for operations from Aluva to Palarivattom.
“We plan to generate 17% of this energy through our solar panels,” said the officer adding that “in short while KMRL depends on energy provided by KSEB for 10 months, Kochi Metro will be powered by solar energy for the remaining two months.”
SOURCEManorama Online