A group of environmentalists and traffic experts have aired concerns over the viability of the proposed monorail project for the city.

The project may not solve the traffic problems of the city, speakers at an open forum organised by Citizens’ Voice at the Town Hall here on Tuesday, said.

Darsanam Samskarika Vedi general secretary M.A. Johnson said the project had been conceived without any scientific thinking. Citizens had no idea about the proposal. They were yet to react to the multi-crore project proposal, he said.

The first phase of the project in Kozhikode would cover 14.2 km from the Government Medical College Hospital to Meenchanda, with 15 stations. The estimated cost was Rs.2,000 crore.

The city lacked proper footpaths and sewerage network. The authorities should give a thought to improving the existing road network instead of harping on a project that entailed a huge expenditure, Mr. Johnson said. The project could have been envisaged to help the construction lobby, he said.

Paristhithi Samrakshana Samithi chairman A. Sreevalsan said the monorail could add to the traffic chaos. City planners should give priority to setting up of bus bays and traffic signal system. The monorail project could fail in the city, he said.

The project was not eco-friendly. Besides, it was conceived without conducting a proper socio-economic impact assessment, Mr. Sreevalsan said. Citizens Voice coordinator K. Shaju, who presented the topic, said developed countries had realised the mistake of trying to implement monorail projects. These nations were abandoning the projects after learning that it was unfeasible, he said. Environmentalists T.V. Rajan, Mananlil Mohanan, and Balakrishnan Kannancherry spoke.

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