4 years on, Kochi metro chugs along sustainability track

Even as Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has often faced brickbats for metro not getting even a fourth of the footfall that was estimated in the DPR, it not being able to establish last-mile connectivity from most metro stations, and its multi-modal integration project losing steam during the recent past, the metro agency has made noticeable headway in its attempt to lessen the project’s carbon footprint, four years since its launch in June 17, 2017.

Solar power

The system of mass rapid transport has been banking on the theme of sustainability even before it was commissioned, in order to attain carbon-neutral status. Over the years, solar panels which are capable of producing around 6 MW power were installed atop station buildings on the 25-km Aluva-Pettah corridor, atop the operational control centre and other buildings and on vacant ground at the coach depot in Muttom. This has considerably lessened the need to rely on power from the grid, official sources said.

The panels are installed by a third party, which is also tasked with their operation and maintenance. KMRL purchases the power thus generated at less than the commercial tariff.

Efforts are on to install solar panels over ferry terminal buildings of the Water Metro project as well. The battery-powered ferries that are expected to be launched later this year would rely on solar power, lessening dependence on the grid, metro sources said. A proposal to establish a solar farm to generate power for all the 78 ferries has not materialised since land has not been identified.

Rainwater harvest

The metro’s 16 stations in the Aluva-Maharaja’s College Ground corridor have rainwater harvesting system. This water is used mainly in toilets and for watering plants. This led to considerable fall in reliance on KWA water supply, with the Ambattukavu station recording as high as 80% savings in water usage from the regular pipeline, they added.

In addition, water recycling has been adopted in the coach depot, including to wash coaches. Sprinklers have been set up to further conserve water.

Likewise, bio-pots and larger bio-bins that are as big as 1,000 litres have been established at stations to process biodegradable waste and to convert it into compost for use as manure.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2021 7:18:06 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/4-years-on-kochi-metro-chugs-along-sustainability-track/article34930378.ece

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