KMRL to plunge into water transport
In order to give a boost to the unexplored waterways of Kochi, a Transit Oriented Development committee, headed by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL), will look into the possibilities of setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to focus on the development of water transport network in the city.
The main aim behind the project is to integrate the waterways and other modes of transport with the proposed Kochi Metro Rail, there by making the ‘dream project’ an amalgamation of various modes of transport.
The SPV will be formed under the aegis of the proposed Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), which will coordinate traffic and transportation measures undertaken by various agencies.
The first meeting of the Transit Oriented Development Committee, constituted by the board of KMRL, was held at the KMRL office hereon Wednesday.
KMRL managing director Elias George chaired the meeting. District Collector P I Sheik Pareeth, Kochi corporation secretary Ajit Patil, State Water Transport Department director Shaji V Nair and officials from Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) and Cochin Port Trust attended the meeting.
The meeting has decided to launch trial services at a few urban waterways in the city. The State Water Transport Department will operate the trial services, which is likely to be rolled out by next month.
“Catalysing transit-oriented development is a key objective of KMRL, in line with the practices followed by modern urban metro systems. The objective of transit-oriented development is to ensure more balanced urban development away from the city centre as well as the provision of providing urban facilities close to Metro stations. In terms of transit-oriented development, each metro station will act as a node and a catalyst for creating local urban facilities in the vicinity of the station itself,” Elias George said.
A detailed planning exercise would be undertaken to prepare a transit-oriented development plan along the alignment of the Metro line. This study will be carried out by NATPAC and UMTC (Urban Mass Transit Company Limited) with the assistance of Kochi Corporation, GCDA and the Chief Town Planner’s office, he added.