The 2.5-km-long ‘green corridor’ proposed between Ernakulam Town (North) and Junction (South) railway stations is expected to augment seamless integration between different commuting modes, with its promoter agencies set to brainstorm this week on directly linking it with the KSRTC bus stand and the three metro stations en route.

With a preliminary survey for hewing out the corridor completed and a detailed project report expected shortly, officials of the stakeholder agencies arrived here on Monday to take the project forward and to link it with other commuting modes en route. While decongesting arterial roads such as M.G. Road and Chittoor Road, the corridor will also benefit people visiting Ambedkar Stadium located near the KSRTC bus stand, and Lissie Hospital, among others.

Pedestrian-friendly

The 2.5-km corridor beside the tracks that link the two railway stations has been envisaged as a pedestrian-friendly walkway, where only electric buggies and bicycles will be permitted. The existing road distance between the two railway stations is 4.8 km through M.G. Road and 4.4 km through Chittoor Road.

A French consulting firm had been roped in to prepare the feasibility report, while preliminary studies are being funded by French development agency AFD, under Mobilise Your City (MYC) programme.

Land acquisition will be minimal since land owned by the Railway and the Kochi Corporation is available, except for a small stretch in Kaloor. Revenue (or puramboke) land too is available. The Railway is very keen to develop the corridor, which is at present ill-lit and crime-prone. Three murders took place recently in deserted areas near the railway tracks, a haven for criminal elements, said Dennis Jose, city project coordinator for the green corridor.

The Centre for Heritage, Environment and Development (C-HED) under the Kochi Corporation is expected to help process documents and other details, while the AFD will streamline funding of the European Union. New Delhi-based Urban Mass Transit Company (UMTC) under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs will execute the project. City-based think tank Centre for Public Policy and Research (CPPR) too is associated with the initiative.

The visiting delegation is expected to meet the Mayor and two councillors later this week. The Corporation mooted the idea of hewing out such a corridor 15 years ago. It is expected to provide funds for land acquisition.

Value addition

Apart from Kochi, Ahmedabad and Nagpur were selected under the MYC programme, aimed at helping improve infrastructure in developing countries. Residents’ associations and others were keen to realise the project since it would add value to underutilised space in their backyards, said C-HED director Rajan Chedambarath. “The proposed corridor will augment connectivity between the two main railway stations in the city and decongest arterial roads,” said T.J. Vinod, MLA.

This article was published in The Hindu on 18 February 2020 Click here to read

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