Friendly construction methods will be adopted to create assets that are aesthetically appealing and which optimise the use of energy, senior DMRC officials told The Hindu.

All green lovers who feared that there would be a huge dent in the city’s green cover along the route of the proposed Kochi Metro Rail can now breathe a sigh of relief.

Green policy

The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC), which is the project consultant and executing agency, has announced its environment policy that promotes conservation and enhancement of green cover through transplantation of trees and compensatory afforestation.

Friendly construction methods will be adopted to create assets that are aesthetically appealing and which optimise the use of energy, senior DMRC officials told The Hindu.

About 4, 770 saplings will be planted along the Metro rail route and in other nearby areas as part of the compensatory afforestation programme. DMRC expects more than 470 trees to be cut down while implementing the project. The estimated compensation for the loss of trees located within 10 metres of the alignment is Rs.4.5 lakh.

Survey results

A survey conducted by experts along the Alvua - Petta corridor of the project found that the major tree species include 132 coconut trees (Cocos nucifera), 97 yellow gulmohur trees (Peltaphorum ferrugineum), 53 rain trees (Samanea saman), 46 mango trees (Mangifera indica), and 23 jackfruit trees (Artocarpus integrifolia).

Teak (Tectona grandis) is the only commercially valued tree in the locality which falls under the definition of the Kerala Preservation of Trees Act, 1986.

Fifty four per cent of the tree population have a girth greater than 70 cm. No rare or endangered species of trees were noticed during the field studies.

It was also observed that no forest area exists along the alignment. A green belt will be also set up around the maintenance depot. The DMRC will introduce appropriate mitigation measures towards minimising the impact of the project on the environment and the public.

Tree garden planned

A report prepared by the Cochin University of Science and Technology had earlier recommended that the plantation of trees, as part of the afforestation, could be in the form of an arboretum (tree garden). It would comprise native species consisting of fruit yielding, ornamental and keystone species, semi-mangroves, those having botanical significance, phytomonitors, and those with biotechnology potential.

The land suggested for the afforestation programme is the region lying towards the north of Mangalavanam.

The proposed arboretum could become contiguous to Mangalavanam and can be developed as a tourism spot.

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