The Kochi Metro at the Muttom yard Photo: KMRL

Seven women are among the 39 loco pilots (drivers) that have been recruited for the Kochi Metro ahead of the maiden run of the ambitious Rs1,500 crore (US$2.3 million) service, which will be flagged off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 17, according to officials.

The Kochi Metro, capable of achieving a maximum speed of 90km per hour, will be the fastest system of its kind in the country when it is launched in Aluva, Ernakulam district, Kerala, according to reports.

A decision was made to launch the operation in June at a meeting held between Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and senior DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) and Kochi Metro Rail Line officials in Thiruvananthapuram.