Space Constraints to impact Kochi Metro’s green drive

Kochi: Thanks to the lack of vacant plots in the city, making up for the loss of green cover has become a major head-ache for the Metro rail authority.  “The availability of  adequate vacant areas and maintenance of the replaced saplings over the contract period of three years have become the two major areas of concern’’, pointed out a metro official.  As per estimates, at least 467 trees will be cut down for facilitating the metro rail work from Aluva to Pettah, excluding the four casting yards.

To address the issue, the authority is now on the lookout for vacant spaces outside the city limits.

“A task force headed by one of our General Managers has been entrusted to identify the plots for building the green cover and formulate suitable planting strategies’’, KMRL sources said, adding that the plan is scheduled to take a final shape next week.

Besides, the agency is also looking to rope in more agencies from outside for its environment conservation programmes.

Earlier, the Metro authorities had announced that it would plant 5000 trees in various parts of the city, in coordination with Agri-Horticulture Society, residents’ associations’ apex bodies and Kerala Merchants Union.

The move assumes significance as environment activists have raised serious concerns over the possible loss of green cover due to the metro project.