Members of the public are flooding Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) with ideas for assigning themes to six metro stations in the Maharaja’s College-Pettah corridor, with a number of respondents suggesting the portrayal of the devastating floods that brought Kerala to a standstill in August.

The metro agency has got a total of around 200 suggestions since it put up a Facebook post on October 29, inviting suggestions based on Kerala’s socio-cultural history for the stations in the 7-km corridor. The catch phrase was ‘Ningade manasilullathu metroyude mukhatu kaanam’, meaning ‘See what’s on your mind, on the metro facade’.

The assigning of themes is being done at a time when the last leg of works is under way for five stations up to Thykoodam, for extending the metro up to there in June 2019. The 16 stations on the Aluva-Maharaja’s College stretch were assigned different themes, ranging from Western Ghats to sports and education, prior to metro’s commissioning in June 2017.

‘Drawing inspiration’

KMRL Managing Director A.P.M. Mohammed Hanish said the assigning of themes was aimed at portraying the diverse facets of Kerala society in the metro system. “We are attempting to derive inspiration from people to shortlist a few themes. There was excellent response to our Facebook post. We are in the process of selecting the most suited ones by November-end. This will help establish a direct link between texture of stations and pulse of the people,” he said.

About two dozen respondents have suggested portraying how fishermen, military personnel and the commoners rose to the occasion, went out of the way in rescuing people, providing them food and essential supplies when unprecedented floods lashed the State, as a theme for an important station in the corridor. They cited the need to remind future generations about what led to the floods and landslides, and how people of the State joined hands to become Good Samaritans.

A couple of them suggested the need to highlight the role played by ‘Metroman’ E. Sreedharan and the workforce comprising engineers and labourers from other States in realising the metro project.

Another suggestion was to portray the role of Verghese Kurien in ushering in White Revolution in India, the cooperative movement and his contribution in improving the lives of millions of farmers in India.

The Kadavanthra station could have the famed Marine Drive as the theme, since the office of the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA), which implemented it, is located next door. That a station in Thripunithura could have the palaces of Kochi as its theme since the Hill Palace was located in the town was another suggestion.

The other recommendations are portrayal of ethnic food and beverages of Kerala, the State’s fondness for football and the formation of Kerala Blasters team, and a compilation of medicinal plants to create awareness among youth of natural remedies. Votaries of public transport and non-polluting travel modes have sought a theme based on KSRTC’s history and the need to popularise bicycling.

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