Kochi metro to rent out commercial spaces within next six months ...

Kochi metro to rent out commercial spaces within next six months

It will take another six months for Kochi Metro to start generating revenue from the commercial spaces available at various stations. The Kochi Metro Rail Ltd (KMRL) managing director A P M Muhammed Hanish said the process for renting out commercial spaces at Metro stations was progressing.
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“Various agencies, including government organizations have expressed interest in getting these premises on rent. In the initial stage, commercial spaces available at Metro stations from Aluva to Maharaja’s College will be rented out. We have also let out advertisements announcing the availability of spaces,” he said.

KMRL said that they would rent out the commercial spaces to various agencies. The Metro agency has ruled out the possibility of entrusting the responsibility of rental premises to one agency, which would eventually sublet it to others. Though this is considered a hasslefree method for collecting rent. KMRL did not opt for it, Hanish said.

It is of paramount importance for Metro to identify and generate alternate income. Revenue from sale of tickets alone cannot ensure smooth operations and maintenance of the Metro system.

Sources with Kochi Metro said that civil works of the commercial areas were almost getting over and the interiors would be completed without much delay. “Stations at Aluva, Edappally, JLN stadium, Kaloor, MG Road, Ernakulam South and Vyttila are the main areas where the Metro is focusing on developing commercial properties,” said the source.

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He said that at other stations the Metro agency would rent out the available spaces for small scale commercial activities. Meanwhile, the commercial spaces like Ernakulam south and Vyttila would be rented out only after completing works along the stretch between Maharaja’s College and Pettah.

Commenting on the criticism that Kochi Metro would end up as a white elephant as it did not succeed in generating sufficient revenue, an official with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation said, “It is too early to judge Kochi Metro’s financial performance. Those who say that the Metro is running on loss must understand that very few metros across the globe make profit. In case of Kochi Metro, the KMRL will be able to start enjoying passenger patronage only when the remaining stretch between Maharaja’s College and Pettah is complete.” Regarding apprehensions whether KMRL would be able to find tenants the official said that once the city centre is connected with the suburbs the Metro system will attract more passengers. Easy access and hassle-free travel will encourage more people to visit shops set up at Metro stations.

The official also said the commercial operations of Kochi Metro was launched even before completing the civil works of the entire station complex to ensure that “the system did not remain idle. It was also necessary to bring in revenue from day one.”

Info-economictimes

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