Modi to travel on Kochi Metro after inauguration, Sreedharan excluded from dais | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Modi to travel on Kochi Metro after inauguration, Sreedharan excluded from dais

“The final list is made by the PMO. We have no role in this,” MD of the Kochi Metro Rail Corp said.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2017 18:46 IST
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also the Minister in-charge of Kochi Metro arrives to travel in a Metro train in Kochi on June 3, 2017.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also the Minister in-charge of Kochi Metro arrives to travel in a Metro train in Kochi on June 3, 2017. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday travel on a Kochi Metro train when he inaugurates Kerala’s first metro, it was announced on Wednesday. But “Metro man” E Sreedharan has not been given a seat on the dais.

In the first 25-km phase, trains will run for 13 km between Palarivattom and Aluva. Work is on the remaining section.

Those on the dais will be Modi, Governor P Sathasivam, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Elias George, the Managing Director of Kochi Metro Rail Corp, told the media that the list of invitees to the dais was prepared and sent to the Prime Minister’s Office. “The final list is made by the PMO. We have no role in this.”

Among others who have been excluded from the dais are Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala, former Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, local MP KV Thomas and local legislator PT Thomas.

A Kochi Metro train leaves Changampuzha Park station during its trail run in Kochi, India, June 7, 2017. (REUTERS)

Reacting to the exclusion of Sreedharan from the dais, PT Thomas said: “This shows the arrogance of the BJP. When the foundation stone for Kochi Metro was laid by then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, none was left out from the dais. This is Kerala’s dream project and key people behind this are now asked to sit in the audience. This is totally unfair.”

Work on Kochi Metro began in 2012 after the Chandy government entrusted the project to Delhi Metro Rail Corp, with its principal advisor Sreedharan overseeing it.