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PM Narendra Modi lauds new Kochi Metro for involving women, transgender people in project

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday lauded the new Kochi Metro for its special attention to ensuring women and transgender people are active in the operation of its rail network.

“Nearly 1000 women and 23 transgenders are being selected to work in Kochi Metro rail system,” the PM said after he inaugurated the project.

In fact, Kochi Metro Rail Limited, which runs the Kochi Metro project, is the country’s first government agency to hire transgender people. Many of them were also present at PM Modi’s inauguration of the metro earlier on Saturday.

The PM also commended the project’s ‘Make in India’ vision.

“Kochi Metro Rail Limited is a 50-50 joint venture of the Government of India and the Government of Kerala. The Union government has so far released over Rs 2000 crore for it,” the PM said.

“The new rail system’s coaches reflect the ‘Make in India’ vision. They have been built by Alstom near Chennai, and have an Indian component of around 70 percent,” the PM added.

The new metro is part of his government’s focus on boosting overall infrastructure development which “will contribute to India’s growth”, he said.

“Over the last three years, my government has placed special focus on overall infrastructure development of the nation. In PRAGATI meetings, I have personally reviewed nearly 175 projects worth more than eight lakh crore rupees and resolved bottlenecks,” he said.

PRAGATI is a platform for ‘Pro-Active Governance and Timely Implementation’ of government projects, which the Modi government launched in March 2015.

“The platform is aimed at addressing common man’s grievances, and simultaneously monitoring and reviewing important programmes and projects of the Government of India as well as projects flagged by State Governments,” said a government press release at the time of its launch. On Saturday, the PM spoke again about the importance of a “people-centric approach” to infrastructure development.

“There is a need to bring about paradigm shift in urban planning, by adopting a people-centric approach and integrating land-use and transport,” Modi said.

 In fact, the Kochi Metro has attempted such an approach. It is India’s first integrated multi-model transport system. Along with its network of trains, Kochi Metro will also have a ‘water metro’ component, which will be the feeder service to the rail metro.

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