Kochi: The freight experts, while attending a capacity building workshop orgnaised by ICLEI South Asia, Kochi Corporation and Kochi Metro Rail Limited, proposed series of measures to decongest the city, especially areas like Ernakulam market, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry. A multi-modal logistics hub at Kalamassery, warehousing clusters, master-plan for city logistics, waterway connection and parking policy are some of the major recommendations.
The workshop has been organised as part of implementing EcoLogistics an international project for sustainable urban freight management being implemented in 9 selected cities from India, Argentina and Columbia. Shimla and Panaji are the other two cities selected from India. The project is supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety.
Stakeholders discussed strategies to decongest Ernakulam market, which has over 2,000 shops and godowns. Shifting godowns, fire safety audits have been mooted while the experts also stress the need for strategies to address haphazard parking, provision of designated parking areas and unloading bays for freight vehicles.
Multi-modal logistics hub has been proposed at Kalamassery since the area has become one of the major freight hotspots from where goods move to various parts of Kochi. Freight vehicles coming from the ICTT at Vallarpadom, industries, cement warehouses, oil tankers, markets and other commercial establishments move through the major freight corridor - the Container Terminal Road and Seaport-Airport road which get connected to the NH at Kalamassery.
For decongesting the narrow and heritage roads in Mattancherry and Fort Kochi, a consolidation centre at an ideal location has been proposed. Movement of goods through waterways, non-motorised transport and light commercial vehicles were also mooted for the heritage areas.
The other major recommendations discussed include formulate strategies for segregating routes used for freight and public transport purposes, designated zones for loading and unloading activities, proper fire and electrical audit for warehouse and godowns, reviving the railway freight corridor, linking seaport airport road to airport and seaports and promoting non-motorized transport for last mile connectivity to the shops within the market area....