From ‘officially’ employing people from the transgender community to having women at the front of its operations and with a unique project of water metro on its way, the Kochi metro has set the bench mark of an integrated transport system for the country
The 5,181 crore project of Kochi metro took off on June 17th this year, and has already managed to win hearts of people all across India. It is the 8th metro project of India after Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Jaipur, Gurgram, Bengaluru and Chennai. The 13-km long metro service excels in its operations – right from services to speed.
Built under the guidance of the metro man of India, E Sreedharan, the Kochi metro holds numerous records. It is the first metro in India to be built in a record time of 45 months. Kochi metro is an example for having diversity in its employees.
A symbol of gender equality
Since its inception, the Kochi metro has proved to be inclusive when it comes to hiring. It has a total of 23 people from the transgender community working at different positions right from ticketing to housekeeping.
“Can you do me a favor? When you look at me, don’t look twice. I want you to look at me, and just see a person doing a job,” said a transgender worker in a video uploaded by the official Facebook page of Kerala information
“We expect other firms to follow suit and engage the transgender community in respectable positions,” said Kerala Metro Rail Limited managing director Elias George. With this unparalleled move, the Kochi metro became the first government agency in India to employ people from transgender community.
Going green? Kochi metro accepts the challenge.
With every one of its 23 stations having solar panels, the Kochi metro is the first in India to meet a quarter of its electricity requirements using solar energy. Every sixth pillar of the 4000 odd metro pillars present in Kochi will have a vertical garden that will use municipal waste as manure. Apart from the numerous efforts to produce sustainable clean energy, the Kochi metro offers bicycles free of cost, at every station, to passengers to roam around city.
A living example of women empowerment
Where the world inadvertently mocks at the driving skills of women, about 80% of the staff employed at the KMRL will constitutewomen. From the ground staff, to operators and loco drivers, women will be ‘manning’ the operations in the Kochi metro line. Seven of the 39 loco pilots who will steer the Kochi metro trains in the Aluva-Palarivattom corridor will be women.
“What I was looking forward was, at the most, a Metro ride,” said Vandana V S, a loco pilot in KMRL. With this move, Kochi metro has proved that women are not just limited to being in the ticketing or housekeeping departments.
Being a coastal city, Kochi’s mobility greatly depends on its water transport. As a step towards an integrated transport system, the Kochi metro will include feeder services such as jetties (boats).
The boats will have a passenger capacity of 50 to 100 and will operate at an optimal speed of 8 knots with the potential to increase up to 12 knots.
The first phase of the water metro will include a 76-km Metro project which is likely to become operational by 2019, 16 out of the 38 jetties will be developed and will be completed by 2017. In the second phase, it is proposed to operateon 9 routes with a total of 16 jetties and a requirement of 78 boats.