Kochi Metro’s stations and mini-cities planned at Muttom and Kakkanad will be designed and constructed as per green building norms.

The emphasis will be on making optimal use of natural light and wind so that reliance on power and air conditioning is minimal.

A similar method would be adopted when the metro became operational, said Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) managing director Elias George and Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) chairman B.R. Ajith, at a joint press conference convened here.

Care will be taken during designing and construction to ensure that these structures are eco-friendly. The metro would emphasise on ‘regenerative braking’, where energy generated when the trains brake would be stored and reused, Mr. George said.

Mr. Ajith said construction activities, unscientific design and lighting, and the obsession for air-conditioning together accounted for 40 per cent of global carbon footprint. “Our joint endeavour is to ensure that the metro fully conforms to standards laid down for green architecture. Water usage will be minimum and emphasis will be given on re-circulating it. Plants commonly available regionally and those that need minimal watering will be used for landscaping.”

Speaking about the need to lessen pollution and reliance on conventional energy sources, Mr. George, who is also chairman of Kochi’s Unified Metropolitan Transportation Authority (UMTA), said encouraging non-motorised transport such as bicycles would bring down pollution and reliance on fuel.

To a question on metro’s afforestation programme to compensate the felling of 400-odd trees for the project, he said a ‘planting plan’ would soon be readied with the help of public sector units and the Kochi Corporation. “The locations and types of trees have to be identified. Details like installing tree guards too have to be worked out. Works like nurturing the saplings will be outsourced.”

On KMRL’s plans to take over the renovation and upkeep of Subhash Park, Mr. George said the Mayor was keen on the initiative and an interim plan was being charted out. He added the agency planned to install sign boards across the city as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).

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