A brainchild is held close to one’s heart always; whether we are there to see it grow into a successful adult or not. But the happiness increases manifold and it gives one immense pleasure when they see the baby as a fully grown person carrying itself out in the world. Tomy Cyriac is in such a euphoric state now; even though he was not acknowledged widely as the one who came up with the idea of Super Elevated Tram System, which was later known to the public by the name Metro.
It was in the Malayala Manorama conclave, “Kochi AD 2000 Development Seminar” in 1996, that Cyriac presented a proposal about ‘Aakasha Rail”. Malayala Manorama was continuously conducting conclaves in connection with the millennium and 1996 was earmarked as the year for transport and water supply. Manorama published Cyriac’s proposal in detail on 12th February 1996 for detailed discussion among the public. An artist’s representation of the Super Elevated Tram System over Thevara – Perandur Canal was also prepared for the public to understand.
While boat service was proposed as the best alternate mode of transport for Kochi, Dr. K. M. Abraham (current Additional Chief Secretary – Finance) who was the then District Collector suggested Ernakulam – Alwaye bus route for the Super Elevated Trams System. He took a keen interest in the innovative suggestion and an amount of Rs 1.25 lakhs was allocated to National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC), where Cyriac was then working, to conduct feasibility studies on various alternate modes of transport; boat system as well as Super Elevated Tram System in Kochi. Almost all the suggestions which came forward in the conclave stands fulfilled, except the inside ring road project in Kochi.
The proposal for the Metro; as it is called now, became dormant through various changes in Governments; but was later taken up by Oommen Chandy at last for fulfillment. Public were keen on the developments in it and finally when the first phase stands completed we should give due credit to the persons who took it to fulfillment. But as it happens in many cases, there are many unsung heroes including Tomy Cyriac, who in reality came up with the idea of the “Aakasha Rail”. In the glory and fulfillment we usually forget many of the these heroes, whose contributions were inevitable for the successful completion of the project.
Cyriac is content and in his customary calm demeanor he brushes off all such feelings saying it’s all part of the game. Tomy Cyriac currently heads the Thiruvananthapuram – Chengannur Rapid Rail Transit System and also serves as Director Board Member of the Kerala Rail Development Corporation (KRDCL).