News from India: Signature of the grant agreement between AFD and the Indian Government / Inauguration of Kochi Metro
new in India?
June 2017 in India has been marked by two important events:
- On one hand, the signature of a grant agreement between AFD (French Agency for Development) and the indian Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), which officially launch “Mobilise Your City” in India;
- On another hand, the inauguration of a first stretch of 13km of the Kochi Metro (Kerala), flagship project of the Government of India, which CODATU followed and contributed to during the past two years.
On June 9th, 2017, AFD signed a grant agreement with the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA), launching officially the “MobiliseYourCity” program in three indian cities: Kochi, Nagpur and Ahmedabad. This french-german initiative, funded by the European Union (through the Asia Investment Facility – AIF – delegated to AFD) and inaugurated during COP21 in Paris in Decembre 2015, aims at working for a sustainable development of the three cities, through improving urban mobility and cutting down carbon footprint.
The initiative will be implemented by the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD), with an overall budget of 3.5 million euros over a period of 3 years. The objective is to initiate a paradigme shift in the field of Urban Mobility, for a more liveable and inclusive cities (less congestion, better air quality, increased competitivity…).
Inauguration Of the Metro of Kochi (Kerala)
In June 17th, 2017, Kochi inaugurated the first stretch of its metro line, in the presence of Mr. Narendra Modi, Honorable Prime Minister of India. This inauguration of 13km after 4 years of construction makes Kochi Metro project the fastest of the Indian metros. The success and reputation of Kochi Metro is also linked with the various initiatives taken to make the project inclusive and integrated to the other modes of transport.
Indeed, KMRL (Kochi Metro Rail Limited) recruted 682 women in charge of the ticket-selling, house-keeping, customer relation and gardening. KMRL also made history with the recruitment of 23 transgenders, community which is usually excluded from all regular jobs.
The specifiy of KMRL also lies in the several initiatives taken by the Management and the Engineers to ensure a smooth integration of the metro with the urban fabric, but also with the existing modes of public transport. Very early in the project (2014), KMRL decided redevelop the existing water transport system to open up the islands located in the north-west of Kochi and ensure a easy connectivity to the metro system. Later, KMRL worked on a route rationalization plan to avoid competitivity between the buses and the metro. Paratransit is also being included, with a special agreement being signed between the rickshaw owners and KMRL to ensure the last-mile connectivity at the metro stations.
For more information about Kochi, read the Overview.