Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the first phase of Kochi Metro to the nation on Saturday.
Soon after his arrival at the Naval airport here from New Delhi, Modi drove to the Palarivattom station and took a ride from Palarivattom to Pathadippalam.
Kerala Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and 'Metro Man' E Sreedharan were among those who accompanied the prime minister in the train.
A unique aspect of metro stations will be the deployment of members of Kudumbasree - the women empowerment-oriented, community-based, poverty reduction self-help group project of the Kerala government- for managing the station operations.
Kudumbasree will provide a vast array of services from customer relations, crowd management, housekeeping and catering services, which once operational, will be the largest crew of women to be employed by any metro.
Besides, every metro station has been designed on a specific theme around Kerala culture and geography.
KMRL has also included the LGBT community in its operations along with Kudumbashree, thus becoming the first organization to appoint transgenders as per the state government's transgender policy.
Kochi Metro officials said introduction of a world-class metro system in Kochi would enhance the quality of life for the Greater Kochi metro area by improving regional connectivity and reducing overcrowding, traffic congestion, transit time, air and noise pollution.
The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL), which was started five years ago with the objective of building and running a metro line, is trying to build itself as Kerala's urban transport solutions provider, officials said.
They said by being the first metro system in the country with an integrated multi-model transport system, Kochi Metro will not only give the city a much required face-lift but also provide end-to-end connectivity.
Considered the fastest completed metro project in the country, Kochi Metro, the flagship transportation infrastructure project of Kerala, will start its regular operations from June 19.
The estimated completed cost of the metro touched Rs 5,181.79 crore.
A long-cherished project of Keralites, the foundation of Kochi Metro was laid by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on September 13, 2012.
(Feature image source: Twitter/@PMOIndia)