Imagine how the entire places around Kochi are going to be changed drastically with the coming of Kochi Metro Rail. KMRL has in its agenda, the urbanization of the entire place surrounding the metro stations. For it is necessary for the public to make perfect use of the metro facility. Further developmental activities would surely hinder the easy movement of public. So, KMRL envisions other developments along with the progress of the metro rail project. A committee has been formed to survey and take actions and decisions. In the first meeting of this committee, decisions were taken to introduce a special purpose vehicle for the integration of water ways in Kochi.
Kochi is a place which has an abundance of water bodies. Making the best of its available potential transport facilities would off-course bring in a drastic change in the metro life. The officials of Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) and Kerala State Water Transport Department have conducted a survey of the waterways to explore the feasibility of new urban water routes. Elias George IAS, Managing Director, KMRL, and Shaji V Nair, Director, KSWTD, and other officials undertook a survey from Thevara ferry to Kakkanad through the National Waterways No 3.
What they are going to do
The newly constituted transit–oriented development (TOD) committee in coordination with different agencies will develop a viable urban water transport system, which will act as a feeder mechanism for Kochi Metro.
“Catalysing transit-oriented development is a key objective of KMRL, in line with the practices followed by modern urban metro systems. The objective is to ensure more balanced urban development away from the city centre as well as the provision of urban facilities close to Metro stations,” Mr Elias George IAS said, “In terms of transit oriented development, each metro station will act as a node and a catalyst for creating local urban facilities in the vicinity of the station itself,” he added. For instance, Vytila Mobility Hub and Edappally station would be connected realizing a comprehensive mobility plan for Kochi city as well as the creation of a commonly integrated mobility card and ticketing facility. Boat services would be opened that would be operated at a speed of 10 to 15 nautical miles. With this, passengers coming to Vyttila hub from distant places can reach Kakkanad through a fast, safe and pollution free mode of transport avoiding the heavy traffic rush.
Traffic Block? KMRL has the answer
Starting any developmental activities would cause a lot of head-aches for the public and the authorities. Road diversions and traffic controls would make a busy day more apprehensive. But, keep cool Kochiets; KMRL has the answers in its kitty. Apart from integrating with the metro rail, another major objective of developing new urban water routes is to use it for traffic diversion when the metro works start. According to Elias George IAS, water transport can be effectively used to de-congest the city roads during metro construction works.