Kochi: It would be a dream come true for Kochites as the Metro begins its inaugural journey on Saturday morning. Prime Minister Narendra Modi would set the ball rolling when he makes his journey on the Metro. Train controllers Yogesh Saini and Sumit Kumar will be at the loco pilot’s cabin to pilot the PM from Palarivattom to Pathadipalam and back. Two others, Pawan Kumar and Anil Kumar, will extend support to the loco pilots from the train controller’s cabins.
The Metro train, which the Prime Minister boards, will be wrapped in a design representing the beauty of Kochi and the state. It touches upon the rural life in the state and is complete with the `Pappanji’ of Kochi, monuments, festivals and other spectacular sights from Kerala.
Modi will enter the Palarivattom Station at 10.35am. He will travel along with governor justice (retd) P Sathasivam, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, minister for urban development (MoUD) Venkaiah Naidu, MoUD secretary, Rajiv Gouba and Kerala chief secretary Nalini Netto. Advisor to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation E Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd managing director Elias George will accompany them.
After the Metro ride, the dignitaries will reach Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kaloor, to attend the public function. Representatives of various companies associated with the Metro’s construction, technology providers and coach builders will attend the event.
Meanwhile, on Friday people were stopping by at the Metro stations where there weren’t many security men. They peeked through the grills to get a feel of what’s in store for them when the Metro begins its operations. They were shooting questions to the staff and also to workers engaged at the sites who were seen explaining to them very patiently .
The public relation department organized a flash mob at Vytilla mobility hub. “I am waiting for the rush to finally come down after the inauguration, so that I can take a ride. I am familiar with Bangalore Metro but having one in my hometown is quite awesome,” said Ratheesh, an employee of Renai Medicity.
Police vehicles and government vehicles were zooming past along the Metro route between Palarivattom and Pathadipalam. Commandos were seen inspecting the Metro stations to be visited by the dignitaries.
The preparations for the inauguration have been on full swing. From barricades to traffic control to bomb squad but it seems nothing can bring down the excitement of the general public. “I think the Metro adds yet another feather in Kochi’s cap,” said Ajithalekshmi an employee of HDFC Bank.
French ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler and German ambassador to India Dr Martin Nay will attend the inaugural function of Kochi Metro. The city police confirmed that both the diplomats have reached the city on Friday. French and German funding agencies are actively involved in the development of Kochi Metro and Kochi Water Metro respectively. Sources said the ambassadors are expected to take a ride on the Metro when the inaugural event is over.
As part of the PM Narendra Modi’s visit, traffic regulations will come into force at 8am at Naval Base, Thevara, Pallimukku, Jose Junction, BTH junction, Subhash Park, Menaka, High Court Junction, Kacheripady, Kaloor, and Palarivattom. The regulations will be in place till 1.30pm. Parking restrictions on these routes will come into force from 6am till PM Modi leaves.