The green signal for change

In response to a feature in The Times of India, “Kochi on track,” Feb. 8, 2016.

Your glowing adulation, “The green signal for change,” Feb 8. 2016, about the Kochi Metro is detached from reality. You say, “The Kochi Metro Rail signals a big development in transforming into a new economic order that will be driven by world-class infrastructure creation.”

For an example of a futuristic world class infrastructure, please review: “Going Underground: Our journey to the future.”

Actually, Kochi Metro project is a missed opportunity. Kerala lost an opportunity for capturing a significant industrial venture, while implementing a transportation system. There wasn’t even a thought, let alone effort, to bring rail manufacturing in Kerala as part of the Kochi Metro initiative.

All engineering/manufacturing activity related to Kochi Metro are being done in Andra Pradesh.

Kerala government could learn some economic development lessons from the Kochi Metro project. Significant part of the Kochi Metro financing is being provided by the French government. This enabled the French company Alstom to bid for the project below other competitors.

The reason is, unlike the Kerala government, French government understands that having a rail technology development and manufacturing center in France is far more valuable than some financial numbers in a banking/treasury ledger. Or, for that matter, industrial and manufacturing assets are more valuable than any financial assets or instruments from an economic perspective, which is what the Kerala government should be interested in.

Kochi Metro project demonstrates, yet again, the ignorance and inability of Kerala government to look after the economic interests of the Kerala state and its people.

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