Kochi: Construction work on the Rs 5000 crore Kochi Metro project began on Friday with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy inaugurating the piling work at a function in Kochi.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had laid the foundation stone for the project on September 13, 2012.
Chandy waved a green flag at the function at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium as simultaneously, the piling work commenced at nearby Edapally.
The Chief Minister said this was a "proud moment" for the state which had waited for years for its dream to become a reality.
Urging everyone to pledge support for the project to ensure its completion within the stipulated time frame, Chandy said Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) Principal Advisor E Sreedharan had promised that the project would become a reality in 1095 days, but had also wanted that the metro work should not be affected even a single day.
The 25-km Kochi Metro route, which will have 22 stations from Aluva to Petta, is expected to be completed in about three-year time.
The Chief Minister said there have been demands from various quarters for the extension of the metro to the IT hub at Kakkanad, Tripunithura, Nedumbassery airport-Angamally and Mattancherry.
Chandy said the government has decided to ask the Kochi Metro to study the demands and submit a report in six months on the extension after which the Centre`s consent would be taken to go ahead with it, he said.
Consultancy agreement with the DMRC would be signed within a week on the Rs 5000 crore Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode Monorail project. By August this year, the Mono rail work will commence, he said.
The metro project received the centre`s sanction in July last year and the Union and Kerala government are equity partners in the project, executing agency of which is the DMRC.
The centre`s share is Rs 1002.23 crore (about 19.3 per cent of total project cost while the state`s share is Rs 2009.56 crore (about Rs 38.7 per cent) while loan from funding agencies is Rs 2170 crore (about 42 per cent).