Kochi Metro Rail Limited(KMRL) is going all the way out to turn Kochi metro as one of the most ecofriendly metros in the country & in the process transform Kochi into a truly green city. KMRL has a two pronged strategy to do so one to design the metro in the most ecofriendly way & second to do whatever it can for greening the city. According to B.R.Ajith the chairman of Indian Green Building Council (IGBC ) construction activities, unscientific design and lighting, and the obsession for air-conditioning together accounted for 40 per cent of global carbon footprint.
Kochi Metro’s stations and mini-cities planned at Muttom and Kakkanad will make optimal use of natural light and wind so that reliance on power and air conditioning is minimal. Emphasis will also be given for on ‘regenerative braking’ where energy generated when the trains brake would be stored and reused. Water usage for the metro will be minimal and emphasis will be given on re-circulating it. Plants commonly available regionally and those that need minimum watering will be used for landscaping.
The second part of the strategy involves the metro acting as a catalyst for the initiatives to reduce the carbon footprint & increasing the green cover in the city. The number vehicles in the city is increasing phenomenally from to 1,11,284 in 2011 to is 5,38,712 as of August 31 2012.More than half of the vehicles consists of two wheelers’ the riders of which will use the public transportation provided they have a comfortable, convenient and a safe one.
Perhaps the biggest contribution of Kochi metro will be a commuting culture where people prefer public transport .Once the metro is operational the timings of all the public transportation systems will be harmonized for the benefit of the citizens rather than the operators. The smart card system will end the time consuming transactions the commuters have to make every time they board a bus or train instead they can pay a fixed amount & use the card for all their transportation needs. Metro stations will act as “one-stop-shop information centers for the commuters for any journey they wish to conduct using these modes.
‘Greenathon’ organized by KMRL in partnership with Indian Green Building council (IGBC) on 6th October was an add on in creating a greenthought in the public. The Greenathon which comprised of cyclathons from Aluva and Pettah and walkathons from Edappally and DH grounds converged at the Kaloor stadium. It is worth mentioning that paths of the Greenathon were charted on the routes of the Kochi metro.
To increase the green cover of the city the metro has come out with a three point plan. The first part of the programme is to distribute saplings to schools, colleges and offices in the city. KMRL has already distributed 5000 saplings which are far more than the 400 tress to be felled for the metro. The KMRL is also planning to partner with public sector companies and other big institutions in the state to plant& nurture trees in the available vacant land s of these institutions. KMRL also plans to act as a facilitator to obtain funds for NGOs involved in environmental conservation programme from big corporate houses. No doubt Kochi metro is going to be a green metro & Kochi even greener once it comes up.