UMTC to table Study Report on Transit-oriented Development Plan for Kochi Metro by May

Kochi:  The study report on Transit-oriented Development (TOD) plan for the Kochi Metro Rail Project will be completed by May. The UMTC (Urban Mass Transit Company Limited) which has undertaken the study will submit the report to Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) by the end of May. The agency has already submitted a concept paper on TOD plan for the Edappally station. The study report was prepared with the help of NATPAC.

The primary aim of TOPD plan is to ensure development activities around transit hubs. There will be a specific plan for each Metro Rail stations, considering the existing conditions surrounding it. The designs will be pedestrian-friendly.

“If we can develop both residential and commercial spaces around Metro stations, an environment which is largely car-free can be created. This will help prevent conversion of valuable transit-accessible space into parking lots,” said an official spokesperson of KMRL.

Though the TOD plan is for the entire 22 stations, the key focus will be given to the stations mooted in the suburbs as they offer more scope for development. The major stations proposed within the city are at developed areas.

“But the stations proposed at the stretches between Kalamassery and Aluva and Vyttila and Petta offer more scope for development. The design will mainly cover activities that can be planned for the 500 mts surrounding the station,” added the official.

Along with the surroundings, the TOD plan will also include the commercial   plan for stations that can be offered to a passenger. The free space in the stations should be wisely utilised based on the necessity of the passengers. According to KMRL authorities, the objective of TOD is to ensure a well-balanced urban development away from the city centre and the provision of urban facilities close to Metro stations.

Meanwhile, the KMRL had already  prepared the draft proposal for the Unified Metropolitan Transport Authority (UMTA), which will frame policies on transportation and traffic issues and will coordinate between various wings of the government. They had submitted it before the State Government as the proposal for UMTA should be turned into a legislation by the State Cabinet.