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Monday , 22 July 2024

The UN Recognition for achieving sustainable development goals

This regime has, in effect, improved the quality of services and its availability without sacrificing on the quality and availability of the road infrastructure. And the road itself excelled in all respects. Excellent ride quality reduced fuel consumption and wear and tear.

The most talked about feature in the Project is the footpath. The footpaths are low height mountable type and does not provide cutting for property entrances. This helps disabled and the old walk effortlessly from one junction to the other.

Designated pedestrian crossings, road signs and reflective road markings have all improved safety of both the pedestrians and the motorists. At junctions, traffic islands are provided to give refuge to the pedestrians who are crossing.

Mitigating the effects of Climate Change and Cutting Co2 Emissions:

1Trivandrum is ranked 4th in the State of Kerala in terms green cover. 65% of the land area is covered by trees. With the increasing number of highrise buildings and commercial districts, cutting down trees and reclaiming water bodies have become rampant. The people of Trivandrum are now against any form of environmental degradation. Cutting down even one tree for proper geometric alignment of the Road is now an impossible task.

In the face of such stiff resistance, the onus was on IL&FS to demonstrate the sincerity embedded in the Project and convince the people of Trivandrum that the Government and the Concessionaire are actually in agreement with the pressing need to protect environment while addressing development. Extensive greening beyond the scope and reduction in consumption of energy were resources used by IL & FS to reach out to the Public. TRDCL also educated them how good roads reduced CO2 emissions.

Against a specified 1200 trees in the Detailed Project Report, TRDCL planted 2600 trees. In fact, on completion, the number could be a little higher. Combined with meticulous care, this more than compensated for cutting down 374 trees for construction of the Project.

By cutting down 374 trees TCRIP had released approximately 75 T of CO2 per month (0.2T per month = one tree). But by planting 2600 trees 520 T of CO2 has been cut per month – a net gain of approximately 445 T of CO2 per month. This is not accounting for the aforestation that the Concessioning Authority had taken up in 2007for planting and nurturing 3000 trees through Kerala Forest Development Corporation Ltd. It also does not take into consideration the additional landscaping, grass turf and shrubbery developed in the project.

Estimated savings of 2% on fuel per vehicle due to improved road design has also helped cut CO2 emissions.

Usage of GPS enabled Solar Powered traffic signals have contributed to the environment in two ways:

  1. The system is synchronised in a corridor. This enables a vehicle with optimum speed to get green signal at all intervening junctions. The “Green Channel” reduces wait states at junctions, leading to lowering of emissions.
  2.  By adopting solar powered signals, a further 0.12 tons per month of CO2 emissions have been saved.

The project has 550 advanced street lighting systems that help save 29.7 MW of power a month. At 0.75kg of CO2 per Unit of power, 75 T of CO2 a month – or approximately 900 T of CO2 in a year – is offset.

Mr.-Anilkumar-Pandala,-Project-Director,-TRDCL-addressing-the-Public-Private-Partnership-(PPP)-Forum-of-the-United-Nations-Economic-Commission-for-Europe-(UNECE)-held-in-Geneva.By advocating footpath paved with interlocking blocks, against the specification of granite tile on cement mortar, TRDCL has helped percolation of rain water which is in abundance in the region. Thus, though rainwater harvesting was not in the agenda when the project started, it has recharged the groundwater. Added with grass turf on road sides and traffic islands, TCRIP has helped birds find its prey, kicking off a bio-diversity cycle. It has helped insects thrive, and have brought many a bird back.

TCRIP, thus, qualifies in every way as one of the most ideal development projects that has consideration for the Planet!

Replicability and Skill Development: Many features of the project threw up challenges to the public. Restricting entries to byroads on account of new medians, handrails provided for pedestrians safety restricting jaywalking and exposing the parking problem and so on. Extensive interaction with the public, educating them on technologies, principles, discipline and the way forward convinced them that sacrifice of certain comforts would be compensated by net gains like fast mobility, safety and better facilities on the streets.

This exercise convinced the people, the Government and people’s representatives the need for such changes. The consistent efforts on the part of TRDCL in keeping the footpaths free of encroachments and sustained maintenance of all features of the project have given the confidence to the Government and the public that similar projects are possible to be replicated in the region. TCRIP has also empowered 37 small contractors to take up any challenge.

In summary TCRIP has been acknowledged as a fitting example how PPP can be translated into a truly “Peoples” Project establishing, beyond doubt, the sustainability of each feature.

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