July 12, 2015 2:40:16 am
Facing environmentalists’ flak for being insensitive to ecology by proposing a Metro car depot at Aarey, one of the green lungs of the city, the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) is going over its project to make several aspects environment-friendly.
MMRC is going over the Indian Green Building Council (IGBC) rating mechanism for mass transit projects similar to that for buildings and is targeting the best possible rating for the 33.5-km Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro project.
Ashwini Bhide, managing director, MMRC, said, “We are trying to bring in as many environment-friendly measures as possible after the controversy over building the car depot at Aarey. We decided to include a few features to make the project energy-efficient such as sensors at stations for air-conditioning and lights, use of LEDs, and natural light as far as possible though the Metro will be completely underground.”
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The fully-underground Colaba-Bandra-Seepz Metro received abundant criticism for proposing to construct a car depot on a 30-hectare plot in the ecologically sensitive Aarey.
The plan involves hacking of 2,298 trees.
Following protests, the state government formed a panel to consider other options or find ways of minimizing environmental damage at Aarey. The panel examined alternative sites and will soon submit its report to the state government. Meanwhile, MMRC is attempting to make it environment-friendly and build a consensus for the project.
Bhide said internal experts in MMRC are studying whether several parameters specified in IGBC ratings are related to site selection, water and energy efficiency, construction techniques, and design innovation that the corporation can adopt for the Metro, with minimal impact on cost.
One of the first decisions the MMRC had taken was to replace all lights on the entire corridor with LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). These consume about 8-10 watts per unit of light generated as against 60 watts in case of incandescent bulbs, and about 15 watts for compact fluorescent lights.
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