Kochi Water Metro: NATPAC to study project safety and sustainability
National Transportation Planning and Research Centre (NATPAC) will conduct a two year long study from July-end on the Rs 747-crore Kochi Water Metro project's sustainability and safety aspects.
NATPAC Director Samson Mathew told the media that the study would be covering the aspects like the quantum of investment in the project vis-a-vis manifold expected gains, like a fall in the air and sound pollution caused by other modes of transport when people shift to waterway transport, reduction in congestion and accidents, to name a few.
Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) expects a daily footfall of 1 lakh by 2035 in the 78 Water Metro ferries that it will roll out based on the detailed project report (DPR).
Additionally, he said that the study would also cover aspects like gains on energy efficiency and safety fronts since water transport is considered the most energy-efficient and safest commute mode. The quantum of time that commuters save too will fall into the ambit of the study since the time saved can often be spent productively with family, for recreation, or in one's field of activity.
The patronage on the Vyttila-Kakkanad and city-West Kochi routes will be taken a look at by the expert team. In these two routes, KMRL has accorded priority in the beginning stages of operation. The study will also analyse how air-conditioned ferries affect patronage for other commute modes and the willingness shown by commuters to shift to water transport.
KMRL promised to support the study, including on sustainability aspects like solar panels that the metro agency has envisaged at boat jetties to generate power to recharge the battery-operated ferries scheduled to begin trial runs in a month or two.
Also read: Kochi water metro to begin ops by end April