Kochi has achieved the highest honour in the country, with its Water Metro project earning recognition as the Best Green Transport Initiative in India.
Meanwhile, Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh has secured an award for its groundbreaking financing approach in the realm of city transport services.
These accolades were bestowed during the closing ceremony of the Urban Mobility India conference and exhibition, which came to a conclusion on Sunday evening.
Other cities were also acknowledged for their achievements, with Srinagar Smart City earning recognition for its outstanding Public Transport System and Shillong for its exemplary track record of Public Involvement.
During the valedictory session, Manoj Joshi, Secretary of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, emphasized the significance of smart cards as a convenient and efficient payment method for commuters.
He discussed the government’s efforts to implement the National Common Mobility Card (NCMC), which has the potential to enhance the compatibility of various urban transportation modes.
Joshi underscored the critical role of a well-functioning fare collection system, stating that it is essential for a sustainable transport system. He also touched upon the utilization of real estate surrounding roadways to improve the financial feasibility of such projects, reports the Economic Times.
The conference delved deeply into the financing and sustainability of urban transport initiatives. Joshi emphasised the importance of innovative funding mechanisms and public-private partnerships to meet the escalating demands of urban transportation infrastructure.
He also highlighted the significance of embracing electric vehicles to reduce emissions and encouraged urban areas to invest in EV infrastructure.
Kochi Water Metro
The Kochi Water Metro is an integrated water transport initiative that seeks to enhance connectivity between the mainland and the islands of Kochi.
The project aims to improve the livelihoods and living standards of both islanders and the general public. It is expected to benefit more than 1,00,000 islanders.
The project is expected to significantly reduce travel time from one part of the city to another. It is projected to decongest the city’s ever-increasing traffic and significantly reduce the city’s carbon impact.
Once Phase I is fully operational in 2024, it is expected to serve 34,000 passengers a day.
The Kochi water metro project envisages the development of 15 identified routes connecting 38 jetties across 10 islands and two boatyards. The overall length of the line is 76.2 km.
Sustainable Mobility and Green Future
The Kochi Water Metro is a groundbreaking project for environmentally friendly urban water transportation.
Upon full implementation, it is anticipated that using electric propulsion for the boats will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 16,500 tonnes annually.
This project contributes to India’s goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2070.
The boats were designed to minimise noise and wave effects that can erode banks and have an impact on the flora and fauna that inhabit the rivers. They were composed of lightweight, recyclable materials.
To prevent any discharges from harming the backwaters and Vembanad Lake, one of the largest lakes in India, toilets were not made available within the vessels.
Additionally, efforts are underway to identify land in several districts of Kerala for the establishment of a 17 MW solar farm in order to achieve carbon-neutral status for the water metro.
According to Loknath Behera, the managing director of KMRL, the Kochi Metro rail services and Water Metro will be fully solar-powered by 2024.