CHENNAI: As many as 2,379 trees were felled to make way for the Metro lines that are already seeing blue coaches zipping past the city skyline. Many barricade erections, drilling and felled trees later, Chennai Metro Rail Limited is making up for the lost foliage through the erection of green stations.
One of the brains behind the project, R Ramanathan, director of Projects, spoke about the green-ventures carried out by the snazzy new metro that has gained popularity with commuters. Speaking on the sidelines of an international conference on sustainability, he told CE that the CMRL project has been awarded the eco-friendly silver certification. Called the ‘Green stations’, all the planned 29 underground and 30 elevated stations will have rainwater harvesting mechanisms in place. And to make up for the trees felled during construction, an additional 53,754 tree saplings are being planted hoping to contribute at least 10 times more green cover than what was compromised. “A total of 72 rare trees that lined the path of the metro lines were salvaged with efforts and transplanted to new locations in order to not destroy the bio-diversity the city has to offer,” said Ramanathan.
Koyambedu, where the coaches are maintained, employs another process to reduce the lofty water demand required by these spick-and-span trains. By recycling effluent water, the same is used for the maintenance of all 42 trains (168 coaches) that are currently in function on the Green-line route.
In addition to this, the train in itself is also doing its bit to amp sustainability and cut down costs. It employs a system used by the Delhi Metro (DMRC) and the underground trains in London, called ‘Regenerative braking system’. This power-saving mechanism, saves as much as 25 per cent of energy in a single trip, using the train’s brakes and feeding kinetic energy back into the battery. Intermittently fitted solar-panels, which are also in the pipeline, will help contribute to the power reservoir.