KOCHI: If all goes according to plan, the city will soon witness decongestion in many areas as a workshop organised by ICLEI South Asia, Kochi Corporation and Kochi Metro Rail Limited, proposed a series of measures to decongest areas like Kalamassery, Ernakulam market, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry.
Freight experts presented the plan at the global workshop held here. The workshop was organised as part of executing EcoLogistics, an international project for sustainable urban freight management across nine selected cities in India, Argentina and Columbia. Shimla and Panaji are the other two cities selected from India. The project is supported by German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.
Developing a multi-modal logistics hub at Kalamassery, warehousing clusters, a master plan for city logistics, waterway connection and parking policy, were the major recommendations presented by freight experts during the workshop.
According to experts, the multi-modal logistics hub has been proposed at Kalamassery since the area has become one of the major freight hot spots, from where goods move to various parts of Kochi. The freight vehicles coming from International Container Transshipment Terminal at Vallarpadam, industries, cement warehouses, oil tankers, prominent markets and other commercial establishments, moving via major freight corridors, ICTT road and Seaport-Airport road, connect to the national highway at Kalamassery. The existing railway station caters to goods transportation, especially in distribution of raw materials for construction, with clusters of warehouses, industries and transport companies located nearby.
Stakeholders discussed strategies and potential interventions at Ernakulam market, such as shifting godowns, fire safety audits and consolidation centres, as potential measures. Strategies were discussed to address haphazard parking habits, provision of designated parking areas and unloading bays for freight vehicles.
The workshop also decided to augment the economy and tourism to the markets of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. “Despite being a heritage zone, one can easily spot heavy to medium grade vehicles coming into the area for delivering goods. The entry of such vehicles create congestion because of the narrow streets, which may directly impact the street’s attractiveness for tourists. Since a major share of the revenue here comes from tourism sector, it is very important that the street’s appeal is maintained. As a solution, a consolidation centre, located at an ideal location to bring in goods using non-motorized transport, light commercial vehicles or waterways was discussed,” a few stakeholders at the workshop observed.