The next board meeting of the Kochi Metro Rail is likely to consider the proposal for a green initiative in the transportation sector to include a cycling track below the Kochi Metro Rail track.
The project cost is estimated at Rs 25 crore, which is only 0.5 per cent of the total cost of the Metro Rail which comes to around Rs 5,100 crore. Better Kochi Response Group (BKRG) had mooted the idea with Kochi Metro head E Sreedharan and Kochi Metro Rail Ltd. This initiative can even get incentives from the Carbon Credit system for reducing the carbon dioxide emissions. Developed countries such Holland and China are promoting the cycling practices and this will be the first-of-its-kind in India. BKRG president G Gopakumar said that the finance for the project could be raised through advertisements.
As the pillar design for the Metro has not been finalised yet, this project can also be included in the project report for the Metro Rail.
The idea is to build a cycle track just below the carriageway of metro. This track can hang down from the metro deck. Gopakumar said that the track can be 5.8 m width with a vertical clearance of 2.1 m. A clearance of 5.5 m can be given below the track as per statutory regulations.
The only modification needed is to raise the metro pillar for little more than 2.1 m. Unidirectional track of 2 m width can be given on both sides of the pillar.
Since the metro track deck is around 9 m width, this will be only a small structure below the deck. The cycles can be parked between the two tracks using the width of the pillar. Access to the track can be given at various points through stairs in addition to the ones at the metro station. At present, the roads in Kerala are not fit for cycling. A cycle track will reduce emission rates by reducing two and three wheeler traffic and to a small extent even car traffic.
The idea is to provide 500 to 1,000 cycles at parking spaces provided between tracks which can be used by the public free of cost. It can be taken from one point and leave at the destination where the parking space is provided. Like in Holland and Spain, there should be various design and colour for cycles, so that it cannot be used elsewhere.
The entry of public should be through revolving entry gates so that the cycles cannot be stolen, he said.